Guest Blog: Flamingo Recoveries by Geoff Carss

By way of introduction, I am a lapsed trainee bird ringer who was a part of the West Wilts Ringing Group and who still has a fascination for all things ringing!!

I had an urgent need to visit South East Spain for business between lockdowns and managed to arrange a quick visit to some salt pans – Parque Regional de las Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro – between Alicante and Cartagena. It’s a Ramsar and Nautura 2000 Site and I had expert guidance from a local English birder who is about to publish a guidebook for the area

There were hundreds of Greater Flamingos feeding in the various lagoons as well as Black Winged Stilts, Avocets, Little Terns, Hoopoe, Shelduck, Cattle and Little Egrets, Crested Lark, Sanderlings and Black-necked Grebe amongst others.

I managed to photograph 4 Flamingo’s with rings – 3 of which could be identified, the 4th one was badly worn and couldn’t be identified:

Two of the birds were relatively young, but one was 13 years old with a fascinating life history – rung as a pullus in 2007 in Malaga and 3 months later seen in Algeria! Seen in Toledo in Spain in 2011 before moving to Italy from 2011 to 2019 and then I spotted it in Murcia in July 2020. If all recoveries could be so easy. The details are as follows:

Being able to contribute a bit more to our understanding of Flamingo movements was both an unexpected delight and a real pleasure – must go on holiday more often – one day.