During autumn 2005, over 500 White/Pied Wagtails Motacilla alba alba/yarelli were colour-marked at Slapton Ley NNR, Devon, as part of an intensive study investigating the origins of the many thousands of wagtails (currently estimated at 30,000–­50,000) passing through en route to France and Spain. Each bird carries a total of four rings, a BTO metal ring on the right leg and three coloured rings on the left leg. Over 2,500 birds have been ringed at Slapton since October 2002, which have generated recoveries from Scotland, Wales, The Netherlands and France. In addition, there has been extensive co-operation with Icelandic birders/ringers as part of this latest study, which suggests that c. 60% of birds passing through Slapton duing September are White Wagtails and that probably most are of Icelandic origin. All sightings are required and will be acknowledged. Please send details to: Dennis Elphick, 2 Somerye, Chillington, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2JU; e-mail [email protected]; tel: (01548) 580323.

Issue 8
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