Golden is the colour of autumn

We all know how challenging is searching colour-ring birds. During the non-breeding season, Golden Plovers gather in flocks, sometimes hundreds of individuals huddled in enormous fields while roosting. Very often the vegetation or water obscures the legs of the birds making it very difficult to find colour-marked individuals. However, thanks to the keen observers who spend lot of time out in the field looking for colour-ringed birds, some of the birds we monitored during the breeding season in northern Sweden are spotted in the non-breeding season along their migratory routes or wintering sites.

During this non-breeding season, so far, two of our Goldies have been discovered. The first observation came from The Netherlands, thanks to Thijs Fijen and Mardik Leopold who reported a colour-ringed bird on the 3rd and the 18th of September respectively, in Mokbaai, Texel. This bird was caught on the nest and ringed on 12 July 2013 in Raurejaure, west of Ammarnäs.  We did not see the bird on the breeding grounds this season, so it is good to know that it is still alive!

Yfj/YW;Y/m at Mokbaai, Texel. Picture by Thijs Fijen
Yfl/YW;Y/m preening at Mokbaai, Texel. Picture by Mardik Leopold

Early this month, on the 4th of November, another bird was seen in UK, just at the same spot where it was seen in the winter 2011-2012, at the Cley Marshes Reserve, Norfolk, England.  Another sign of how site faithful these birds are, also during other parts of the year apart from the breeding season!. Last time it was observed had a geolocator attached on its leg (see picture below). In the breeding season 2012 we succeeded in retrieving the logger and get the data stored to be able to draw its movements on the map.

Colour-ringed Golden Plover with a geolocator attached. Picture by Pat Wileman
Colour-ringed Golden Plover with a geolocator attached. Picture by Pat Wileman

 

We are currently working on a paper about some aspects on the migration patterns of this breeding population thanks to the help of this plover and others carrying a logger for a year on its leg. Hope we can publish it soon and it is of your interest.

Thanks a lot to all observers who spend lot of time out in the field and report their sightings!
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