Information arrived from French ringers of ring number 8998514 we caught at Cockerham on 5 June 2021.
“Here are the details of a ringed bird you have reported.”
Species: Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
Ring no: 8998514
Ringing details: Age: 3 (juvenile)
Ringing date: 19 Aug 2020 at 23:30:00
Site name: Tour aux Moutons, Donges, Loire-Atlantique, France Ringer: Paris, -11
Finding details Age: 4 (adult)
Finding date: 05 Jun 2021 at 08:00:00
Biometrics: Wing: 102.0 mm. Weight: 11.9 g.
Subsequent Capture: - Duration: 290 days Distance: 740 km Direction: 356deg (N)
So not too many surprises there with a first year Sand Martin being caught in France whilst on migration to North Africa. 8998514 may have been born in Lancashire, possibly at Cockerham Quarry to where it returned to breed in 2021 as an adult female.
Donges, (as named above) is a site of major natural significance on the Loire Estuary where a large part of the 200 hectares site is protected in an “original natural state.” The area contains the single biggest bank of reed beds on the Loire Estuary.
Since 2003, the Loire Atlantique Association for Ornithological Knowledge and Research (ACROLA) has been carrying out bird ringing operations every summer in the reed beds located to the south of the East Donges facility, to study post-breeding migration of birds which use the zone as a staging area.
Swallows and Sand Martins use the reed beds as a night time sanctuary during migration time. The reeds also hold large populations of small passerines such as Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Aquatic Warbler, as residents and migrants. The latter species Acrocephalus paludicola, Aquatic Warbler is a critically endangered species.
Back at Cockerham today I found again the Great Egret that went missing for a few weeks. Of course this bird could be a different one as its habits are different by spending 90% of each day in secluded trees, out of sight out of mind. It’s nearest companions were a single Grey Heron and two Little Egrets.
Near there, a Skylark at last feeding young. And both Oystercatchers and Redshanks with young in tow.
Back soon with more news and views. Stay Tuned.