Chiffchaffs: Wiltshire to Portugal

This February we received a report from Portugal of a Chiffchaff ringed on the outskirts of Melksham on the 7th October 2021, that was recovered 1,600km away, on the 25th November 2021, at Herdade dos Forninhos i.e. after 49 days. Unfortunately, it took 438 days for the Portuguese ringing scheme to let us know, but better late than never.

When I share recovery information with the group I always copy in Graham and Phil Deacon of the North Wilts Group. It is a mutual courtesy, so that we know what is happening with the birds in and from our area. Phil and Graham are also committee members of the Wiltshire Ornithological Society, and Phil collates all recoveries of ringed birds either ringed within Wiltshire and recovered elsewhere or ringed elsewhere and recovered in Wiltshire.

He sent me the details on the three other Chiffchaffs recovered in Portugal that were ringed in Wiltshire. The first was ringed by Graham near Sevenhampton, Swindon and also recovered at Herdades dos Forninhos. Second was a bird ringed at the Westdown Plantation on Salisbury Plain Training Area and recovered near Lisbon.

Then, this year there were two recoveries, again from Herdades dos Forninhos, for birds ringed and recovered in 2021. Jonny’s one and the other was ringed by Richard Leighton at Longbridge Deverill on the 13th July 2021 and recovered on the 5th October 2021.

It does seem unusual that, having had only four recoveries in Portugal, from the thousands of Chiffchaff ringed in Wiltshire, over the last 15 years, three of them should be recaptured at the same site:

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