Wednesday 11 March 2009

Pale-bellied Brent - This Is Your Life

Enter Michael Aspel holding a big red book!

It wasn't easy, but I've got the details on the Pale-bellied Brent Goose I photographed the other day. It was first seen on the estuary by Ian McLean last Thursday.

The bird (CILY) was first ringed at Hausastadir, Álftanes, SW Iceland on 18/05/05 (which is about HERE). She was identified as a lady and aged as a six, which means she was born before the previous year (so any year before and including 2003).

She spent the winter of 05/06 in Northern Ireland, on the east coast at Castle Espie, Strangford Lough which is just east of Belfast. Here she was in a flock of 2000 PB Brents!

In spring 2006 she was sighted back up in Iceland, at Skerjafjörður which isn't far from the site she was ringed. Here she was seen with a mate (CVLY). By 04/10/06 she was back down in Ireland at Strangford Lough again where she remained all winter.

Spring 2007 saw her back up in Iceland then again in October 2007 she was back in Ireland at Strangford Lough...but then she went AWOL!

She was at Strangford Lough up until the end of October, but soon into November had moved a little further south into Southern Ireland and was seen in a flock of 80 PB Brents in Dublin Bay, she was last seen here on 11/11/07 when she was apparently being 'pushed around' by the other birds in the flock.

The next sighting of her was in Christchurch Bay, Hampshire where she was seen with ten Dark-bellied Brents at Milford-on-Sea on 24/01/08. She was seen again here on 26th but there were no more reports of her up until the 5/03/08 when she dropped in on Colyford Marsh!

Since she was ringed I've worked out she's flown at least 4819 miles!! Who knows how many she has flown since she was hatched?? Thanks must go to Graham McElwaine of the Irish Brent Goose Research Group for all this information.

Now, let's have another look at her...

No wonder she looks a little tired!!!

I've also had details back on a colour-ringed Herring Gull I saw on the river on 18th Feb this year, it was an orange colour-ringed bird with the green letters 0237.

It was ringed as an adult on 14/11/00 at Heathfield Landfill, Devon. My sighting of it was the only time it has been reported since being ringed. When I saw it it would have been at least 13 years old (I think!?)...

All interesting stuff. This morning I have mostly been painting a gate, and will shortly be going to work... : (

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