Kevin Briggs has just given me details of a colour ringed sighting of a Ringed Plover that he saw on 22 June this year at Melling on the River Lune. It was originally colour ringed as a juvenile on 10 July 1993 two kms from where it was sighted this year. Making it 21 years 11 months and 13 days old. It beats the present oldest recorded Ringed Plover which was ringed as an adult on The Wash and last recorded 19 years 8 months and 19 days after ringing.
Kevin has recorded this bird for the past four years breeding on a maize field. This bird is part of Kevin's long term study of this species breeding on the gravel banks of the River Lune. He has another bird also ringed as a juvenile which was 13 years and 355 days when last seen also on a maize field.
The Lancaster and District BWS has censused the breeding birds of the lower section of the River Lune each year for the past 41 years. Ringed Plover have declined from a peak of 42 pairs in the 1970's to just four pairs in 2009 due to regular spring and summer flooding of the gravel nesting sites. This year nine pairs attempted to nest but the only successful pairs were the four pairs nesting on maize fields.