Over the past four winters myself and Tony have been monitoring the wintering Golden Plover populations around the Powys/Shropshire border. Although the flock seems to peak at around 300-400 birds, it’s clear that several other birds pass through as we have now ringed over 900 individuals of which 750 have had colour rings added as well.
The idea of the colour rings is the birds don’t have to be recaptured in order to gather information of where they have been seen. Although there were not many sightings to start off with, we are now getting reports of the colour ringed birds from all over Britain, and as far afield as Scandinavia and even Portugal!! Sightings of them may help us to understand why these gorgeous birds are in decline.
While on my way to work in Newtown today, I noticed a flock of 110 Golden Plovers feeding in a road side field on the top road between Llanbadarn Fynydd and Dolfor. I could see that some of them were wearing our colour rings. I didn’t have time to stop, so I called Tony who managed to get up there and read 10 different combinations with his Telescope. Half of them were ringed this winter, and the other half last winter, so it’s nice to know they keep returning.
If you do see any Golden Plovers (anywhere), please keep a look out for these colour rings and let us know what and where you’ve seen them. All of the information is on the right leg. On the lower leg it will be a metal (BTO) ring with a plastic red ring above. On the upper leg it will be a white ring with a thee digit code written in black.
(this is what you’re looking out for)