Colour-marked Waterbirds in the Severn Estuary
Birdwatchers are being asked to look out for colour-ringed and dye-marked waders and ducks on and around the Severn Estuary.
BTO alongside WWT are working on a project to understand more about the home ranges of three species of waders (Curlew, Redshank and Dunlin) and a range of duck species on the Severn Estuary between Newport and Cardiff. As part of this work the Redshank and Curlew have been colour-ringed and Dunlin and some ducks marked with yellow dye. In addition, state-of-the-art tracking devices have been placed on some of the Curlew, Redshank and Shelduck, which is providing information about how birds use the estuary through the winter during both the day and the night.
The work is funded by Tidal Lagoon Power, to provide high quality scientific information for the environmental impact assessment for a proposed tidal power lagoon (Tidal Lagoon Cardiff), and to inform their conservation and biodiversity programme – the Ecosystem Enhancement Programme (EEP).
If you see any colour ringed or dyed birds when you are birdwatching either on the Severn or elsewhere, we would be very grateful for any sightings of these birds. Of particular interest is any records of birds with yellow dye. Birds of different age have been marked on different parts of the body so please record the location of the dye and, if possible, the total number of birds in the flock, the date, time and location (ideally including a six-figure grid reference) alongside sightings of colour-marked birds.
Birds have been marked as follows
- Redshank have yellow over white colour-rings on the left tarsus (below the ‘knee’), and a colour over a metal-ring on the left tibia (above the ‘knee’), plus two colour rings on the right tibia.
- Curlew have orange over white colour-rings on the left tarsus, a single colour-ring on the left tibia, the metal ring on the right tarsus and two colour-rings on the right tibia.
- Dunlin adults have yellow dye on the breast, while first-winter Dunlin have yellow dye on the undertail/flanks/rump
- Shelduck have yellow dye on the normally white plumage on the neck/upper breast.
Any records of colour-ringed birds on the Severn would also be extremely valuable and all observers are given information on the history of any colour-ringed birds.
BTO are very keen to follow up any records quickly and would be grateful if you could phone 01842 750050, or email Emily Scragg (email@example.com) with any records of colour-marked waders as soon as possible. Please email duck records to Ed Burrell (Ed.Burrell@wwt.org.uk).