26th February

A beautiful, sunny day saw several of the over-wintering Firecrests show up, with three at Church Ope and one in the Obs garden. A single Red-throated Diver past the Bill was the only other bird of note.

One of the wintering Ringed Plovers at Ferrybridge today © Roy Norris:

When we had a closer look at Roy's photo it became apparent that the bird was ringed above the knee (Ringed Plovers ringed in the UK must be ringed above the knee but we're not sure how many/which foreign schemes have the same requirement). Whilst there's a perfectly good reason why waders are ringed above the knee we were left wondering if any research has been done on the recovery rate of small waders ringed in this way: since a bird ringed above the knee would almost certainly have to be trapped again or found dead to generate a recovery (...or are the metal rings read in the field more often than we imagine?) we're guessing the recovery rate must be pretty low and surely far lower than for birds marked with inscribed plastic rings, colour rings or leg flags. Maybe the longevity of an above the knee ring evens out the equation but whatever the answer it was frustrating not to be able to generate a recovery from this sighting!