The story of a migrant Redshank?

On the Ythan, various different species of use the estuary as a pit stop pre/post migration. It’s an important spot to rest, preen and feed for passage birds. An incredible number of Redshank pass through the Ythan in the Autumn and at the moment their numbers are increasing rapidly!

After having seen a juvenile Spotted Redshank earlier that day on reserve and reports that the juvenile bird was on the estuary we were rifling through the flocks of Redshank for any differently marked birds we came across this guy below with a yellow flag with the number 112.

Yellow flagged Redshank 112

Needless to say, I got excited what story this little bird had to tell. We sent off the sighting information to ringing groups and heard back shortly after from our local ringing expert. This Redshank was ringed as a juvenile 5 years previous on the Ythan in late August. We have breeding Redshank in the local area so it was quite possible it was a juvenile bird of a resident pair. Or did it originate from further afield?

After overwintering on the Ythan during its first year there were routine sightings of the bird in 2014 and 2015 from mid July to mid/late August but no sighting here during the breeding season until May 2016. There was a confirmed sighting of the bird photographed at Brekkusker Iceland! The remote North East reaches of the country.

It was then shortly after sighted again on the Ythan mid July 2016 so most likely the Ythan is and will continue to be a favoured stop off point for this little bird. It really is fascinating what we can learn from ringing so if you are out and about doing a spot of bird watching, it pays to keep a close eye for any tagged birds.