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Colour ringed birds from Ireland, Holland, Belgium and Germany.

Ringed Mediterranean Gull at Praia da Vitória bay, Terceira (Photo 2011-02-09: Simon Buckell).

Over the years there have been many foreign ringed birds that have been found in the Azores. It has been birds coming from both North America and from Europe.  In this autumn and winter four new birds have been found, all of them alive with plastic rings (together with the traditional metal ring) where letters and numbers have been possible to detect.

   The first bird was a Little Egret Egretta garzetta at Paul da Praia, Terceira 2010-10-15 which was seen by Kari Haataja. He passed on the information and got the following reply from the ringer, Chris Benson: “The bird was ringed by me as a nestling in a colony on the outskirts of Galway City, Ireland (53 14' N, 8 59' W) on 26/05/2010, and is the first ever recovery outside of the country of an Irish ringed Little Egret.  The distance from ringing place to where you recorded it is 2,133 km.  I also think this is the longest movement ever recorded of a Little Egret ringed in Europe - this is quite some bird!”

   The second bird was the Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia which first was seen at Ribeira Grande, São Miguel 2010-11-29 and later moved on to Ponta Delgada, and Lagoa das Furnas. This bird was ringed in 2010-07-21 at Beveren, Verrebroekse Blikken, Belgium and you will find all details and photos of this bird here. There have been ringed Spoonbills visiting the Azores before - then from the Netherlands.

   The third bird was a Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus first seen in Praia da Vitória bay, Terceira 2011-02-06 by Simon Buckell and Peter Alfrey, and the bird is maybe still there. Simon photographed this bird and got the following information about it: “This bird was ringed as a pullus  2010-06-17 at Hellevoetsluis, Slijkplaat, Zuid-Holland. The first sighting of this bird was then 2010-10-16 at Great Yarmouth seafront, Norfolk, UK, and then not seen / recorded until discovered on Terceira”.
   An adult bird with a yellow ring on left leg was also seen at Ponta Delgada this winter. The number could not be detected but maybe this was the same bird that has visited Ponta Delgada two earlier winters, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. This bird was ringed in UK - see photo here.

   And the fourth bird was a Grey Heron Ardea cinerea discovered at Lagoa das Furnas, São Miguel 2011-02-20 by Olof Jönsson. This bird was ringed as a nestling 2009-05-07 southwest of Berlin in Germany, at  Rietzer See, Potsdam-Mittelmark, Brandenburg. It was ringed with a white ring with the text ZCJ.
   A first-year bird with a yellow ring on left leg was also seen at Lagoa das Furnas 2007-11-05. This bird was ringed in southern Spain- see photo here.

Staffan Rodebrand

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