Saturday, 17 September 2016

Banded Birds 2016



Banded shorebirds are becoming the norm during the southern (fall) migration and it is something that local birders are always on the lookout for.  Thus far, three tags have been recovered from a Short-billed Dowitcher, Sanderling and a Red Knot.  All sightings were reported to the website bandedbirds.com.

I saw the Dowitcher at one of the private swamps in the eastern part of the island on August 19th.  It was part of a small group that flew in during bad weather.  The bird had a lime green tag, AXX, on its left upper leg and a metal band on its right lower leg.  The re-sighting map showed that the bird was first seen at Chatham - Cape Cod, Tern Island, Massachusetts, United States on August 10th, 2014 before the sightings here.  The bird seemed to be in good health and was busy feeding.  The Dowitcher was seen again the next day but then was gone from the swamp.


The next bird, a Sanderling, was seen on a beach, called Long Beach, on the southern side of the island on September 14th.  This along with other birds were enjoying the feast of invertebrates that were attracted to the Sargassum Seaweed that is continuing to pollute the shoreline of the island.  Its tag, which was light green with black writing, read U5T.  The bird was smaller than the other Sanderlings on the beach and was busy feeding.  A check with the re-sighting map showed that the bird was captured and tagged on Villas Beaches, New Jersey, United States on May 24th, 2014 and was again recaptured at the same location on May 29th, 2015.  Re-sightings were as follows: Mispillion Harbor, Delaware, United States May 12th, 2015; Norburys Landing Beach, New Jersey, United States on May 27th 2016; and then here in Barbados.

The following day, September 15th, I saw another tagged bird on Long Beach.  It was a Red Knot with a light green flag inscribed with black writing on its upper left leg with the code 69X.  This bird was first seen by Dr. John Webster on August, 10th at the same location.  The Knot was tagged at Reeds Beach - north, New Jersey, United States on May 30th, 2011 and has a long history of re-sightings giving a clearer picture of its movement throughout North America.

Here are the re-sightings:
2012
5/17/2012 - Ted Harvey Wildlife Management Area, Delaware, United States
5/27/2012 - Cooks Beach - south, New Jersey, United States
5/29/2012 - Cooks Beach - south, New Jersey, United States
5/30/2012 - Cooks Beach - south, New Jersey, United States

2013
5/21/2013 - Mispillion Harbor, Delaware, United States
5/21/2013 - Mispillion Harbor, Delaware, United States
8/12/2013 - Grande Ile, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada
8/16/2013 - Grande Ile, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada

2014
5/20/2014 - Brockenbridge Gut, Delaware, United States
8/28/2014 - Grande Ile, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, Quebec, Canada

2015
5/18/2015 - Cooks Beach - south, New Jersey, United States
5/27/2015 - Mispillion Harbor, Delaware, United States
5/28/2015 - Mispillion Harbor, Delaware, United States

2016
5/23/2016 - Brockenbridge Gut, Delaware, United States
9/10/2016 - Long Beach, N/A, Barbados


Tracing the path of these tagged birds puts into perspective the vast journeys of these pint size world travelers.  It also highlights that the protection of these birds, and those like them, is a task for the world not just one country, nation or island.