In bird ringing a control is the name given to a bird which has been ringed out with the area/region in which a ringer/ringing group operates.
Always a bit more exciting than your own retraps as you have the mystery of not knowing where it has come from until you hear back from ringing friends/BTO HQ.
So when Ewan Weston spotted a Sandwich Tern with a metal ring on each leg whilst doing some ring reading at Forvie NNR it was clearly an interesting bird.
Both rings were quickly read and whilst one appeared to be a chick ringed at Forvie the other clearly wasn’t as it bore the letters SAF in the address……..SAFRING SOUTH AFRICA!
Ewan contacted some tern pals and quickly assembled the birds interesting history.
It wasn’t a Forvie bird after all. DB28806 had been ringed as a chick at Liddel, on South Ronaldsay in Orkney on 09/06/2001 and was now breeding at Forvie.
There have been several chicks from South Ronaldsay recorded breeding at Forvie over the years, as well as chicks from other colonies such as the Farne Islands, Ireland and even the Netherlands.
And then on 10/09/10 Tony Tree retrapped it at Berg River mouth, Velddrif, Western Cape, South Africa and added Safring No. D34025.
This is an important wintering area for many of the Forvie and UK’s Sandwich Terns.
Some fascinating wee snap shots from the life of a Sandwich Tern.
And through the round window……………………….you can see both rings.