‘At whatever moment you read these words, day or night, there are birds aloft in the skies of the Western Hemisphere, migrating’.
As birders you know that these words in the opening to Weidensaul’s ‘Living on the Wind:across the hemisphere with migratory birds’ to be true. However to see it happen and know something about a bird and where it has come from still give me a great feeling.
Having just ‘twitched’ Goosander’ on Leazes Park Lake. I had to still try to find something of my own. There on the ice in amongst 50-60 other Black-headed Gulls was a bird with a white readable ring on its leg. T90N. Trust me even though the photos wont allow you to zoom in.
With a little help from @saddinall who pointed me in the direction of http://www.cr-birding.org/ It was easy to track down which ringing scheme this bird had been part of. Poland.
Its easy to complete a form of your sightings and within 24 hours I had an email back with the following attachment.
Western Pomerania is about 700 miles due east of Newcastle and it felt like I had been connected to a great moving wheel of migration.
OK, at at somewhere over 5 years old it may not be the 32 year record from Holland but it was an individual amongst the masses. And I am hooked and now want to find more.
Oh, if you do not own a copy of Weidensaul’s book order one right now. Whilst it is set in North, South and Central America birds know no boundaries.