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29 May 2017

Where do the waders go?

Greenshank by Ann Karin Gaasland

Each season brings us different birds to see on the reserve, some travelling North from Southern Europe and Africa to spend the summer with us and some travelling South from Northern Europe and further afield to spend the winter on the Ouse Washes.

But there are also those species and individuals who simply stop off with us mid-journey to rest and refuel, a bit like us taking a break at a service station.  We say that these birds are on passage, we might not see all of these individuals as they might make very brief stops, so it is exciting when they stop for long enough that we can appreciate them.

One such bird was spotted in early May, a greenshank.  But not just any greenshank, this one had coloured leg rings to identify it by. It was ringed on the Wash in Lincolnshire in August 2015, spotted in Norway in late May 206, and then here at WWT Welney in early May this year.  We have since been told that it has again been spotted in Norway this May since dropping in to our reserve.

It is always worth checking birds thoroughly for any tags they might have on their legs or wings (depending on the species), and then reporting your findings online or to the reserve you have seen them at.  This helps us gain insight into the lives of birds and their migrations as well as highlighting the importance of habitats being available to them at different times of year.