Orkney Ringing Group

Orkney Ringing Group

Curlew

Wader Ringing

Purple SandpiperThe importance of Orkney for Waders was only fully appreciated after the survey of the entire non-cliff coastlaine of all the inhabited island in the winter of 1983/84 and 84/85. This survey revealed that Orkney held large numbers of waders. It also held internationally important numbers of Purple Sandpipers and Turnstone.

It was therefore decided that the Group should obtain a mini cannon net so as reasonable numbers of waders could be caught for ringing. It was also decided that initially that initially Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone should be the main target species. We have collaborated with the Highland, Grampian and Tay TurnstoneRinging Groups in making a determined effort to find the breeding area for the "long-billed" Purple Sandpiper which winters in Britain, but so far without success.

The work of the Group has led to the publication of papers in Ringing & Migration on Purple Sandpipers and Turnstone.

More recently the Group has collaborated with North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory in colour ringing Sanderling on North Ronaldsay. This project is now starting to give interesting sightings away from Orkney. As the Wader Study Group have intimated that they intend to initiate a project on Sanderling along the east Atlantic Flyway it is intended that we continue our study on North Ronaldsay and also extend it to Sanday, which holds up to 600 wintering Sanderling.

SanderlingWe have recently (winter 2008/09) obtained a full size cannon net which will enable us to target catches of larger wader species as well as geese, ducks and gulls.

During Autumn 2008 one of our members started mist-netting waders at pools and managed to catch 50+ Redshank. This will add to our wader ringing efforts.