Swale Wader Group


High tide on Saturday morning was at 0245 so the team of ringers knew they would be in for a long night. A moonless sky and little wind were near perfect conditions and we caught 90 birds of ten species: Redshank 48, Black-tailed Godwit 15, Bar-tailed Godwit 4, Whimbrel 5, Dunlin 12 and singles of Avocet, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher, Curlew and Common Sandpiper.

The Common Sandpiper was only the second we have caught. Two of the Bar-tailed Godwit were retraps, one was caught in 2016, the other 20 years ago in 1998. We retrapped a colour ringed Black-tailed Godwit which was first ringed In September 2017 and has spent the last two winters at since various sites around The Swale where it has been recorded 22 times.

A successful night and we enjoyed watching dawn break as we left the site at 0500.

Bar-tailed Godwit

Subsequent suggests that all four Bar-tailed Godwits were of the sub-species taymyrensis. This subspecies passes through eastern England without moulting on passage from their mid Siberian breeding grounds to their winter quarters in west equatorial Africa. The two retraps were ringed as juveniles in November (of different years). The literature indicates that many of the juveniles travel much later than the adults with some remaining in England until November and probably do not reach the far southern wintering grounds of the adults.


Ringing Sessions