Thursday, 30 September 2010

Metal detecting ringing

So how do you ruin a nice Sunday walk? No not golf - you take a metal detector with you to look for rings! We decided that we would have a go with a metal detector in the Sandwich tern colony at Forvie to look for rings on chicks that hadn't fledged.

After weeks of practicing on small nails in the garden we headed off on Sunday with dogs in tow, with a spade and big rucksack to carry back all of the 100's of rings we expected to find.
Well it didn't quite turn out that way... D2's don't cause a reaction in the metal detector unless you have almost a whole string of them together! So we found nothing with our metal detector (but had great fun playing airport security!) and had to look for rings the old fashioned way. We found 12 of this year's chicks long dead with rings on, including 6 that were colour ringed also.

We had fun on our walk but learnt an important lesson for ornithological conservation - don't use a metal detector for finding D2s! Thanks to Ian for sourcing the metal detector.

Raymond, Jenny, Ewan, Clunie, Freya, Bramble, Sula, Moya and Tyr

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