Examples of colour-marked waders
Example 1: Ruff with rings and flags
On this bird we are fortunate to be able to see all of both legs. Note that the bird’s left leg is on the ground, and its right leg is raised.
Look carefully at the left leg. There is nothing above the ‘knee’ and below there is clearly a blue ring, but slightly obscured in the grass is a white ring below that. We read the combination starting from the top of the left leg as ‘nothing over blue-white’. A useful notation for recording this is to draw a cross to indicate left and right leg, and above and below the knee and enter what you see in each quadrant.
Now look at the right leg and see the metal ring above the knee (note it is shiny and hints of the engraved numbers). Below the knee is a white ring, then a red flag, then a white ring. This would be ‘metal over white-red flag-white’ .
Example 2: Red Knot with inscribed flagOn this knot we can see most of both legs but the bottom of the bird’s right leg is slightly obscured in the mud.
The bird’s left leg clearly has a blue ring above the ‘knee’ and nothing below. We read the combination starting from the top of the left leg as ‘blue over nothing’. A useful notation for recording this is to draw a cross to indicate left and right leg, and above and below the knee and enter what you see in each quadrant. It is useful to note a ‘dash’ indicating that this part of the leg was seen and no rings were present.
Now look at the right leg. Above the knee is a pale green (lime) flag bearing the inscription “UNK”, which is written as FL[UNK] or ‘flag lime UNK’. There are no rings visible on the lower part of the right leg, but we can’t see the whole leg due to the mud. To indicate this in the diagram we enter a question mark. It is very helpful to indicate which parts of the leg weren’t seen so as to differentiate from no ring present.
Example 3: Oystercatcher
This Oystercatcher has a red colour ring on its upper left. On its lower left is a lime ring inscribed (in white) with the letter H. On its right left there is a metal ring on the upper leg and a black-inscribed orange ring bearing the letter K.