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IWSG Banner. Photos by Jan van der Kam and Simon Gillings

Help on resighting colour-marked waders

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Different types of "marks" to look for

colour-ring There are several different types of colour marks to be aware of and look for. Click here to see the different types.

 

Different colours of ring or flag to look for

A range of colours are used for colour-marking, the commonest being: white, black, yellow, orange, red, light green, dark green, pale blue and dark blue. Other colours used include: light pink, dark pink, pink, purple, brown and grey. Each colour has a single code letter to facilitate short-hand notation of sightings. Most are simply the first letter of the colour. An exception is Black, which is coded 'N' for Noir to avoid confusion with 'B' for Blue. In addition, the metal ring is usually coded as 'm'.

Common colours and their codes:
Colur name
Black
White
Red
Orange
Yellow
Green
Lime
Blue
Pale Blue
Code
N
W
R
O
Y
G
L
B
P
Colour
                 

Additional colours and their codes:
Colur name
Light pink
Dark pink
Purple
Brown
Grey
Code
K
C
V
U
S
Colour
         

Combinations of rings and flags

You will rarely see a bird bearing just a single colour rings or flag. More often you'll see combinations of rings and flags that, tells us something about the bird; either its individual identify, or for example, the location it breeds or the year it hatched.

 

A few simple rules will help to ensure the combination is reported accurately.

  1. Know your left and right - it may sound daft, but this is the commonest error. Report the rings on the bird's left leg, followed by those on its right leg.
  2. Waders wade - sooner or later you'll see a colour-marked wader standing in water. If you can't see the lower half of the legs, tell us so we don't assume no rings were present.

 

 

Ruff with metal ring, white rings, blue ring and a red flag. Click here to see enlarged and how to report. Ruff with colour flag and rings by Feike van der Leij
Red Knot with metal ring and lime flag inscribed 'UNK'. Click here to see enlarged and how to report.Red Knot with colour flag and rings by Pat Leary
Oystercatcher with metal ring, red ring and two inscribed rings. Oystercatcher with inscribed colour rings by Simon Gillings
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