A Tale of Two Rings

Turnstone with colour ring

I’m a big fan of colour-ringing as it makes identification of individual birds easier in the field and can lead to more sightings and useful data on migration and movements. I found this colour-ringed Turnstone in Shetland in May and submitted the sighting. When the project owner got back to me it was interesting to find out that this individual was originally ringed in Moaña, Ponteverda Spain in October 2022 and had been recorded down there over the winter on 15 occasions. My sightings was the only record of this bird as it travelled north to its presumed breeding grounds in Norway.

Compare that to the Arctic Skua that I recorded (under licence) on a bird survey this summer. The bird has a metal ring on its right leg (just visible in the photo). Despite my best efforts and zoomed in photos, I couldn’t manage to read the number on the ring. This meant I couldn’t identify the individual bird and find out any information about its movements.

A case of what might have been.

Arctic skua with metal ring