Country Corner

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How’s this for bling?

This Sanderling, one of 24 at Thorntonloch the other day, carries a unique combination of colour rings which identify it as an individual.

Two colour rings on each tibia and a flag on its left tarsus are intended to catch the eye of beach users, who hopefully will get Googling and find the website which collates reports of these birds.

In time, the bird will amass a series of sightings in several countries as it roams constantly between the Arctic and Africa .

Sending in this photograph resuted in an email stating the bird was ringed on the west coast of Iceland in May this year.

Iceland is a stopover station for northbound Sanderlings heading home to breeding grounds on the tundras of Greenland.

My bird was reported twice more in Iceland before leaving.

Of course, in Greenland the Sanderlings spread out to claim nesting territories, so ringed ones are rarely recorded there.

It was not until wandering southwards again it found its way to Thorntonloch beach, and generated only the first travelling sighting of its history.

Of course, I was hoping it might be an older bird which had built up a longer record of sightings.

Some Sanderlings have histories listing countries from the Arctic, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Holland, Portugal, all the way down the coasts of western Africa, sometimes as far as South Africa.

Maybe in time my own bird will build up such a story?

I wish it well, and look forward to hearing of its future stravaigings.

As Sanderlings can be quite site loyal, we may even meet again on Thorntonloch beach some day.

Merry Christmas to all Country Corner readers!

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