Wednesday, 20 November 2013

From Gambia with love

From Gambia with love...our Sandwich Tern!

Farnes to the Gambia...just 3,000 miles

Ringing Sandwich terns this summer

Ringing operations start on Inner Farne

Wednesday 20th November comments: Bird ringing provides invaluable information about migration and is one of the most important scientific studies carried out on the Farnes. Over the years, a ringed Arctic Tern hatched on the Farnes made it to Australia whilst even our Shags have been discovered in the Netherlands.

This summer, for the first time on the Farne Islands, we ringed just over 100 Sandwich Tern chicks with small red darvics; special red plastic rings which have a unique three letter code enabling observers to read them in the ‘field’ with telescopes.

This scientific study will help us learn and understand more about our Sandwich Terns, especially the movements between British colonies but also the movements abroad particularly on their wintering grounds.
And it’s worked! In the first autumn of the project one of our chicks has been discovered on passage, in Africa! Yesterday Dave Montreuil photographed one of the island’s Sandwich Tern fledglings sporting ‘UFA’ at the Tanji bird reserve, The Gambia, a mere 3,037 miles south of the Farnes.

This sighting shows you the value of such a ringing scheme and we hope this is the first of many sightings in future years so if you’re going abroad this winter, you may be a lot closer to the Farnes than you think!
Sandwich Tern ‘UFA’ movements

12th July ringed as a chick on Inner Farne

3rd August seen at Greyhope Bay, Aberdeenshire

19th November photographed at the Tanji Bird Reserve, The Gambia by Dave Montreuil

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