Southern Colour Ringing Group


This week more sightings of our Kites. 4F has been confirmed again in the Wickham Bishop area in Essex and 2J has been sighted just down the road in Stapleford. This is the first sighting since it was ringed in a spring trap back in September. Pictures of both below.

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red kite 2j stonyhills e m1x 07981

We have had our first Common Tern sighted at Dungeness by Martin Cassmore. Clearly on the way south let's hope it gets seen a few more times.


A quick update on the satellite tracked Brent Geese as of 13th May 2019. Unfortunately we only have one tracker still working. The following is the latest update.

BRAN01 stopped working on 22nd Feb 2019 giving 243 location fixes whilst working all in the Crouch Estuary. We know this bird is still alive and it has been observed in Germany in early May.

BRAN02 is the one transmitter still working and this bird has been working its way along the Dutch coast for the last few weeks.

BRAN03 stopped working on 29th January giving 91 location fixes whilst it worked all in the Crouch Estuary. We know this bird was still alive some weeks after the tracker stopped working as it was observed by David Low at Blue House Farm.

BRAN04 stopped transmitting on 1st May giving 732 location fixes whilst it worked we tracked this bird to Germany and showed some great site fidelity on staging. We are fairly sure from the acvitivy on the tracker that the bird was still alive and well although it has not yet been observed in the field after the tracker stopped working.

BRAN05 this bird died between 17th and 20th April in the German Wadden Sea. It gave 693 location fixes before the bird died. We have no idea of the cause of death as the bird was not recovered and appeared to have died at sea (possibly roosting at night) and was carried by the tide.

The map below shows BRAN02 between 2nd April and 13th May working its way along the Dutch Wadden Sea using islands and the mainland.

BRAN02 MAY 2019


On 3rd April our last satellite Brent Goose made the trip across the North Sea. The data we have got from the three movements is quite incredible. All three birds have moved at night and left between 10pm and midnight arriving in Holland by 6am the next morning. All have staged for a short period before moving further one a short distance, one a little further and one much further into Germany.

BRAN02 the last bird to go followed almost the exact same route as the previous two and has stopped in Holland resting on the sea about 4am at first then moving onto the island of Richel in the Wadden Sea by 6am. This bird moved to the coast just off of Foulness and stayed there for about 3 hours before starting the migration. The speed seemed farily constant across the sea and with half hour data points on the UHF settings we can see the exact route and timing (see map below). The data points on the map below are every half and hour and shows a pretty direct flight to the Dutch Wadden Sea. Travelling about 340km in around 6 hours before resting on the sea. This gives an average speed of  56kmph (around 35mph).

BRAN02 Migration April 2019 

This morning BRAN02 has moved a little further to Terschelling and appears to be settled there for the day. We await to see if it moves further or stages there with the large number of Brent that David Low has been watching on his recent trip.There is speculation that as the first two birds went early and have staged in Germany they may be wintering birds from the Crouch and this bird may be an early moving bird which had actually wintered further south in northern France with some of the other colour ringed birds that have clearly done this such as Green AN ringed in 2018 and wintered in France before going back to Netherlands this spring. (see

We wait for the next few weeks to see what will happen to these birds and when they move further on their migrations and hopefully we can track them to the breeding grounds.

Early this morning our second satellite tracked Brent Goose moved across the North Sea and straight to Germany. Again leaving very early morning and taking a similar route to BRAN04 this bird did not stop until early morning on the island of Juist in Germany. Hourly datapoints showed the speed and timing of this movement as well as the distance. We will see if this bird stages here or makes a further jump in the next few days. 

13 March BRAN05

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