Monday, 9 September 2013

Looking for shags up and down the East coast of Britain

There is  a shag project running where you can help. Shag chicks arec being ringed with coloured rings with unique codes on them and the researchers want to know where these birds go to. Jenny Sturgeon from University of Aberdeen and Centre for Ecology and Hydrology tells us more:

Summer 2013 overview
This summer, shags have been ringed at a record number of colonies and despite last winter’s wreck (when over 500 dead shags were found) many colonies have had moderate breeding productivity.
Thanks to the amazing efforts of ringers, over 1400 shags have been colour-ringed across 11 colonies in Scotland and one colony in England. These colonies span a large area of the UK coastline.
Colony Code Number ringed
 -   Fair Isle Fair 9
 -   South Ronaldsay SR 19
  - Stroma St 31
 -   Badbea Ba 100
 -   North Sutor NS 97
 -   Bullers of Buchan BoB 147
  -  Isle of May IoM 550
  -  Outer Forth islands OF 168
 -  Inner Forth islands IF 253
 - Farne Islands Farne 120
Total 1494

So what’s next?
With such a large number of shags ringed across so many colonies we will have our work cut out for us this winter! The next task is to resight as many of these individuals as possible between September 2013 and March 2014.  ites are checked as often as possible for colour-ringed shags along the coast but this can be  difficult, especially when days are short and the weather is bad. Thus help with resighting is hugely useful and greatly appreciated! Particular areas where more coverage would be appreciated include the English coast, Lothian and Borders, Highland and Islands. Rings have a unique 3- letter code on a red, yellow, white, blue or green background We are always grateful to hear of resightings of colour-ringed shags. Please email Jenny at with resightings (including date seen, location, 3-letter code and ring colour) and/or to get in touch if you are interested in getting more involved!

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