One of our regularly walks when out at Titchwell is to the beach.  Usually we turn right in the hopes of seeing the small seal colony, that rests up in one of the creeks that flow out into the sea.  On this walk we decided to head in the other direction and try to get some shots of any early autumn migrants, being pushed up the beach by the incoming tide. On the tide line there were some small groups of Sanderling accompanied by one or two Turnstones all showing remnants of their breeding plumage. In one of the groups we photographed we spotted a bird sporting a number of rings and flags on its’ legs, This one  turned out to be a real global traveller.

Sanderling


Sanderling (R6WYWR) showing leg rings

Intrigued by the rings I was keen to find out a bit more about the bird. After a number of emails to various notable institutions, without success I had almost given up.

 Sanderling at Titchwell


Sanderling at Titchwell

Turnstone


Turnstone

After contacting the International Wader Study Group, where there is a group running a Sanderling Project. Where I had reported the sighting I started to find out more about the bird. All of which makes fascinating reading.

Sanderling

 

Sanderling number R6WYWR

Its now known as Sanderling number R6WYWR. It was first ringed on Oct. 8, 2010, just west of Axim Ghana. To be there it would have had to flown down from the Arctic a least once. Since then it’s been sighted in Finistère, France on Aug 12 2012, on its’ way back to Ghana. Faro, Portugal 25 April 2014 presumably on its’ way to breed in the Arctic. Its been spotted 65 times in Ghana, Africa, last time this year on 04 April 2015. Then on the Norfolk coast on 8 Aug 2015 when we came across it, feeding up for its journey back to Africa. The only thing I don’t know yet is its’ sex.

Common Seals at Titchwell


Common Seals at Titchwell

Common Seal at Titchwell


Seal Pups at Titchwell