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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 March 2005, 11:03 GMT
Migrating blackbird rings changes
Blackbird
The blackbird has twice flown the round trip from Norfolk to Devon
An adventurous blackbird which passes the winters in a Devon garden is back in his summer home in Norfolk to breed.

Most live their lives within a few miles of their birthplace but one - identified as CL98725 - has twice flown 228 miles between the counties.

The bird is the only one recorded to have travelled 1,000 miles in two years in search of warmer weather.

He was last seen in Newton Abbot on 15 February and turned up in John Kew's garden in Thetford on Saturday.

Mr Kew first ringed the blackbird as a juvenile in his garden on 5 July 2003.
CL98725's travels
Ringed 5 July 2003 as a young bird.
Colour-ringed on 20 September 2003.
Last seen in Thetford on 30 September 2003.
Turned up in Newton Abbot on 26 December 2003.
Seen regularly in the garden until 14 February 2004.
Back in Thetford 29 May 2004.
Resighted in Newton Abbot 26 December 2004.
Last seen in Newton Abbot on 15 February 2005.
Turned up in Thetford on 12 March 2005.
"I was absolutely stunned - what a star bird," said Mr Kew.

"It has timed it perfectly, just as the weather has turned milder and in time to establish its territory, " said Mr Kew who has been ringing birds for the Thetford-based British Trust for Ornithology for many years.

"It's worked it out to a T - down in Devon for the winter and back in time for the breeding season."

The bird's unique coloured rings - blue, blue, red - made him stand out when he landed in Newton Abbott at the home of another keen bird watcher.

"He's two years old now so relatively old although there are birds that survive up to seven or even 10 years," Mr Kew said.

"We're very pleased that it is back. It looked a bit hungry and spent the first 24 hours feeding but was soon back to normal chasing the other birds."

Mr Kew thinks the bird will probably go again in September and if he survives will almost certainly go back to the same garden in Devon.


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