Sunday, 26 October 2008

Wildfowl & Waders . . .
Friday night 'dazzling' ended with a Wigeon, Tufted Duck & Whooper Swans in the ringing room. The Oystercatchers were caught a few nights earlier. One was an adult bird & the other a 1st year - see photograph below of both of them  together showing differences in eye & bill colour & bill length. The adult was released without ringing as it had a serious leg injury caused by sheep's wool which had wrapped around the leg & over time had tightened - the leg was cut deeply & close to coming off altogether. The bird had sadly died the next morning. Oystercatchers with wool around their legs are a fairly common sight on Fair Isle  where they suffer the consequences of feeding in fields where small quantities of  loose wool are in abundance. Many  Oystercatchers die a slow death after picking up wool  & others end up losing a leg & carry on a healthy & active existence with only one.

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