Swale Wader Group

 

One of the delights of wader ringing and why so many of us stay up on cold saltmarsh for half the night is the unexpected. The first bird we caught on Monday was a Curlew with a ring.

Only later did we learn that we had first ringed this bird on 3rd February 1996, then we caught it again on 31st August 2000. So Monday was 22 years 8 months and 19 days from the ringing date. It was aged as an adult female in 1996 so is at least 23 years old. This is only the second oldest Curlew ringed on the Swale, the oldest by six months was recovered in Gironde, France (see here). Otherwise it was a quiet night, the bright moonlight meant birds were able see the nets and avoid them. We caught 8 Dunlin, 5 Redshank, 1 Mallard, 1 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Knot as well as the Curlew.