Monday, 25 March 2013

First Whimbrel Recovery - a first for North Africa

In a recent text I joked to Mark Grantham at the BTO about how Waxwings were far more rewarding to colour-ring than Whimbrel as we had now done well over 100 birds and were yet to get our first sighting/recovery away from the ringing site. Today he partly resolved the problem by informing me of a recent recovery of one of our birds in Morocco! This is only the 10th BTO recovery of this species in Africa and amazingly the first north of the Sahara! The bird was picked up alive on a beach near Agadir on 20th March but died soon after. It was passed to an avian vet who conducted a post mortem but found nothing other than slight haemorrhaging around the head and neck. Most of the Whimbrel we ring are caught on spring migration in April and May but oddly this bird was one of very few ringed on autumn passage - on 11th August 2010. The recovery location is very close to Sous-Massa National Park so odd to think it had probably been consorting with Northern Bald Ibis just before it died!

L7 found dead on a beach near Agadir, Morocco 2 and a half years after ringing

Another bird ringed on the same day 

The ringing (green) and recovery (red) locations

Above map from Robinson, R.A. & Clark, J.A.(2012) The Online Ringing Report: 
Bird ringing in Britain & Ireland in 2011 BTO, Thetford (, 
created on 7-September-2012, shows all foreign recoveries to date (ours added)

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