Sunday, 27 September 2015

First Mover of the Winter...

Apologies for the absence of updates recently. This has largely been due to intensive ring-reading survey work on Strangford Lough by Alex Portig and myself, which has led to me trying to keep up-to-date with entering records on the database. It is particularly important to keep examining these large flocks at the north end of Strangford Lough, as birds will arrive in, and some rapidly move on, at this stage of the winter.
This intensive work has seen the first "mover" of the winter, SHRB, sighted at Ball's Point on Lough Foyle on 17 September, re-sighted on the east side of Strangford Lough on 22 September at both the Gasworks and Pig Island. This is a bird which we ringed as an adult on the breeding grounds in High Arctic Canada in late July 2014. There were no records after late October (all from Strangford Lough) that year until it passed through Carlingford Lough on the reverse journey at the end of March 2015, so wonder where it had been!
Such movements from Foyle to Strangford are not unusual, but, perhaps surprisingly, neither are records of birds heading back north to Foyle from Strangford!!
Elsewhere, relatively few records have been coming in. Patricia Watson has started to read a few rings at Dublin, and the family which she originally reported on as having 7 juveniles, has now grown to 8!! It appears some sort of adoption is going on!!
Thanks to Bob Proctor, who has continued to monitor the flocks at the Lossie Estuary in NE Scotland. This appears to indicate that one of a long-standing ringed pair he'd started recording there disappeared soon after, and the other (mate) has now left too. The third ringed bird there is still present, with its un-ringed mate and two juveniles.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent Graham and Alex - it does seem odd that these birds seemingly perform a 180deg movement having recently arrived on what is a pretty much constant S/SE bearing since August but then I imagine these movements are relatively small (for a goose that's travelled so far) and probably driven by the quest for food, hoping to gain competitive advantage and/or the inherent homing instinct to return to familiar places (or establish new traditions). This high pressure system will no doubt help birds move south into Ireland and encourage birds to disperse from Strangford to other areas around the Irish coast (and beyond)