Hi All, now that everyone is settling back to school life and
work after the summer holidays we thought it would be nice to highlight
a neat story of a colour ringed godwit spotted in Dublin recently by
Siobhan McNamara and posted on Drimnagh
BirdWatch Blog on the 14th September. It is a great example of the
teamwork involved in the project and how it generates such amazing information
and stories. Over to Siobhan:
Remember this photo from Saturday?
When I wrote down the tags from the tagged Black Tailed Godwit in with
c.300 others, Bull Island, Dublin?
Black-tailed Godwit with
tags Red, Black, Yellow, X (photo
© Siobhan McNamara)
I asked Helen Boland (IWeBS Co-ordinator, Birdwatch Ireland) if she
knew who I could report the tags to and straight away she gave me the
email address of Pete Potts in the UK as someone who was probably involved
with the ringing. (How on the ball and helpful was that?!).
I sent off my email and it turned out that Helen was spot on, in hardly
anytime at all Pete emailed me back the following info:
Many thanks for the godwit record much appreciated.
RN YX is a bird we ringed in Siglufjordur on 11th July 2009 as an adult
female and was seen on Tiree on 1st Aug 09 and then in ublin 08/10/09
and again there Aug & Sept 2010. I wonder where it winters?
I had to look up where Tiree was (it's a small island in the Scottish
Hebredies) and I google mapped Siglufjordur which is the very north
In nerdy fashion I've made this map to show the flight path of the
female Godwit, (hopefully there should be blue placemarks you can click
on to give reported tag dates).
In addition to this info, Mark Carmody also spotted the photo of the
tagged Godwit and emailed Rosemary who runs the brilliant Dublin's Tolka
I received this forwarded email this morning:
"I noticed from the website that Siobhan
McNamara had a ringed Black-tailed Godwit on the Bull island on the
10th September. The combination rang a bell with me so I checked my
photographs. I was delighted that I did. I took a photograph of the
bird just after it was ringed in Siglufjörður in northern Iceland
on 11th July 2009!! The photograph is attached. Jim Wilson and I were
in Iceland for 6 days taking photographs for the Shorebirds of Ireland
book and we were helping Pete Potts and his crew ring some godwits while
we were there.
Please post this up on the website as it makes an interesting story
and raises the importance of checking the godwit flocks here in winter
for ringed birds. If you could also pass this email onto Siobhan as
I don't have her email address, I would appreciate it.
How about that then?!
It turns out that Mark personally held and released the very same Godwit
in Iceland in 2009.
...........and there's the tags I spotted on Saturday
So there you go.
From taking the initiative to record a tag, and with the help of Helen
Boland, Pete Potts, Rosemary and Mark Carmody we end up with a bit of
background to a bird which could easily have been glanced over as 'just
Which it is, but now I know the history I delete the 'just' and award
the bird some Respect for the journeys I now know she's managed to survive
and the experiences she must have had along the way (for example, successfully
dodging the Peregrine the day I saw her).
Through tagging and subsequent reporting not only are we helping important
bird protection/conservation work, but we also get to hear a bit about
the bird's story, something which if you're anything like me, you're
likey to find very interesting.
Seeing as our Godwit friend hasn't ever been reported over Winter,
Mark wonders if she moves even further down south to France or Portugal
for the winter months?
In the interests of research I suggest we all get the first flights
over to these places (bagsie Portugal) and keep an eye out for the Godwit.
Or - just keep an eye out at Bull Island (Dublin, Ireland) and if
this bird is spotted during Nov/Dec/Jan, let someone know.
Thanks to the following :
Helen Boland - IWebs Co-ordinator, Birdwatch Ireland - IWeBS
Pete Potts - 'Godwit King' - email Godwit sightings to email@example.com
Rosemary - Editor of Tolka Branch website (great resource for Dublin
Mark Carmody - provided all images for Shorebirds of Ireland (new book
'Freshwater Birds of Ireland' out October 2011!) and his flickr page
has amazing photos.
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