Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Ringing Broad-Billed Sandpipers

Today we were ringing Broad-Billed Sandpipers. This whole trip to north Norway has been focused on the study of these birds and other arctic-breeding waders, especially Jack Snipe. And the study has been ongoing for several years, led by my brother Rab, Skitts to the birders who know him, and Karl-Birger Strann of the Norsk institutt for naturforskning in Tromso. I have been a mere helper on this trip and am grateful to them both for a great experience, and to Ed Duthie and Harry Scott who have helped on this project before and have been a great lead on the birds of the area. All have made this an excellent excursion.

 Adult Broad-Billed Sandpiper marked with a unique
combination of colour rings for ready identification
     in the field wherever it is seen on the breeding area
 or in its wintering grounds.

 The chicks are incrediibly well camouflaged, their
white speckled down mimicing the water glistening
on the waterlogged vegetation where they live in the arctic mires.

And they are tiny, all four sit easily within the palm of a hand.

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