Stour-Orwell birders - have you seen colour-ringed birds? The BTO needs your help!
A large number of Dunlin and Redshank are being colour marked on the Stour-Orwell this winter. This exciting new study will help to determine just how many birds use this important area for resting and feeding, and help to protect other sites that are used by waterbirds.

Currently, flagship conservation sites such as Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSIs) that are important for birds, are identified and designated using the peak numbers of birds present. Particularly during the migration period, this method can greatly underestimate the total number of birds using the site, because there is the daily arrival and departure of individuals.

The study launched in partnership with the British Trust for Ornithology, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Newton & Wright Ringing Group and Natural England, aims to significantly increase our understanding of just how important estuaries like the Stour-Orwell are for wintering waterbirds. Over the winter a large number of Dunlin and Redshank are being fitted with individual combinations of brightly coloured rings, allowing each bird to be individually recognized. We are trying to encourage visitors to submit sightings of colour-marked birds. All visitors to estuaries this winter can provide an invaluable contribution to this work. To find out more or to submit a sighting, click here: