Jon Wright and Richard du Feu braved all the weather had to throw at them today to read the ring numbers (or at least the last four numbers) on a juvenile Shag which had obligingly parked itself in Heysham Harbour. This should be enough to trace the individual.
Previous ringed Shags at Heysham have all been from Puffin Island, Anglesey. Will this bird be the same and will it be one that Richard ringed this year?
Feedback from Mark Grantham at the ringing office suggests a further number or especially two numbers would be ideal, otherwise we will have to wait until all the 2008 ringing returns are in to see whether the last four numbers 6618 is unique to a 2008-ringed Shag. The only other species taking this ring size are the two Divers, Pink-footed, Egyptian & White-fronted Goose, Gannet and Osprey, so any statisticians with absolutely nothing else to do can look at the average annual ringing totals of these species and come up with a probability of the current four numbers being enough.