When well-known London birdwatcher David Darrell-Lambert visited East India Dock Basin on 19 September, he noticed that one of the Cormorants roosting on the jetty in the River Thames was sporting a blue colour-ring on its right leg. A closer look revealed the letters EBY on the ring. David expected to trace the bird to a nearby colony such as Walthamstow Reservoirs, or perhaps Abberton Reservoir in Essex. However, a little online research revealed that it had come a lot further than that, and had actually been ringed Estonia by the Cormorant Research Group of Wetlands International.
Estonian co-ordinator for the Cormorant Research Group, Kalev Rattiste, has confirmed that the Cormorant was ringed as a big nestling on 3 July 2011 on a small islet Vesitükimaa, Saare Maakond, Estonia. It appears it made its journey west some time ago, as it was recorded at Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe by local birder Richard Bonser in November 2012.
If you see any colour-marked bird, the European Colour-ring Birding website is the best place to find out where it has come from and who to notify that you’ve seen it.
Photo by David Darrell-Lambert/Bird Brain UK