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This Sanderling is an old friend. I first observed this bird in October 2007 at Portrush, Co Antrim roosting on rocks and later on the same day at Portballintrae beach nearby. I reported these sighting to Jeroen Reneerkens the Sanderling ringing project leader who has kept me updated with details of what bird had been up to since my first encounters. The bird was first ringed on Sandgerði beach in south western Iceland (about 20 miles west of Reykjavik) in May 2007. Following my North Antrim sightings the bird was observed back at Sandgerði in May 2008. In August of 2008 the bird was seen again this time at Gott Bay, Isle of Tiree, Scotland before moving to the Isle of Barra also in Scotland by early November. By May 2009 the bird had once again return to Iceland to its regular stop off beach at Sandgerði. On the 19th of August 2009 the bird was once again at Gott Bay, Isle of Tiree, Argyll, but amazingly was reported on the 23rd August at Tréompan, Ploudalmézeau in north west France, near Brest, before returning to Tiree by the end of the month. Once again it returned to stop in it’s favoured area of Iceland last year before returning to Portballintrae via Tiree last autumn. It is believed that these birds move on from Iceland to breeding grounds in the high Arctic of Greenland, or possibly northern Canada. This photograph was taken again on the beach at Portballintrae, in Northern Ireland late last winter. I’m hoping it will return this year.

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Taken on March 25, 2011