Saturday, 16 April 2016

First Records From Iceland...

This is always an interesting time of the year for ring re-sightings.
As already reported, birds have been on the move for some time now, evidenced by marked birds appearing at sites to the north of where they have over-wintered. As recently as two days ago, I recorded IJRR at Killough Harbour, Co. Down, a bird which had spent the winter in France, and which has been recorded from Normandy and Killough in both winters now, since being ringed in Dublin in February 2014.
Now come the first sightings of birds which have made the next big jump on their journey to the High Arctic breeding grounds in Canada, as they stage on the west coast of Iceland.
Oli Torfason, who only last week had joined in the catching effort in Dublin, sporting his

distinctive white willies (thanks for the photo, Cian Merne!), started ring-reading on his return home, at Alftanes, just south of Reykjavik, and has already provided nearly 30 records from there. Thanks also to Andy Collins, who recorded F4WR during his first ever visit to Iceland. This bird, located at Seltjarnarnes on the north side of Reykjavik, was in a flock of about 300 brent geese, back near the golf-course where it was ringed in spring two years ago.
So, we can now expect a rapid reduction in numbers here in Ireland, and elsewhere, as the rest of the geese make their move. A good time to try and record remaining marked birds, and particularly to pick up those geese which opt to stage before starting out on the trip to Iceland.

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