Champions of the Flyway!

Friday, March 14, 2014

English sun, French snow

High pressure is making for some beautifully sunny and blue-skied early spring days here on the North Yorkshire coast, and while passage remains generally fairly light as a result, the light is glorious and there's a variety of subjects more than worthy of the camera's attentions. Arguably the finest are Snow Buntings, with about fifteen in the cliff-top stubble presently.

Amity and I spent a memorable hour or so with them yesterday afternoon, edging slowly closer until they stopped caring, ignored us completely and entertained us greatly. Interestingly, a couple of the birds are ringed*; far more interestingly, one is also colour-ringed (white Z3 - see below).

A quick search for the relevant scheme surprisingly indicated our bird had been ringed in France; better still, having emailed the details to the project co-ordinator, a swift reply revealed that she (an adult female) was ringed on 23rd February, just over a fortnight ago, near Calais.

It's unsurprisingly the first sighting of the bird since the ringing date, although interestingly, two others from the same flock have been sighted, in Kent and Northumberland respectively - clearly indicating an northbound return towards breeding areas along the British East coast. Fascinating stuff.

*Attempts at photographing the metal rings to try and establish letters and numbers were only partially successful, but hopefully there'll be more details to follow....