A couple of nights ago I got a phone call from my brother who runs a bit of a falconry display outfit called Feather Perfect and also rehabilitates a few wild raptors. They had been out on a call to recover a sick Kestrel from the side of a road in Shropshire and noticed that it had a ring on.
"Is it one of yours"?
"Has it got a colour ring on as well"?
"No just a silver one"
"I doubt its one of mine then, what's the number?
"Eh? It should start with an E! You sure its a BTO ring? What's the address"?
"Hang on. It says RIKS Museum, Stockholm...."
Blimey...! It's Swedish - what's that doing in Shropshire in early August!!
This episode just goes to show that no matter how much you think you might know you can still be wrong-footed by the origins and movements of birds. Looking at the Online Ringing Reports on the BTO website it turns out that no less than 48 Swedish-ringed Kestrels have been recovered in Britain so far. It will be very interesting to see just where and when this individual was marked originally. Unfortunately it was very thin and in poor condition when found and despite being tube fed with rehydration fluids, died soon after collection.