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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Long-haul bird may set new record
Blackbird
Only 13 blackbirds ringed in Norfolk have been found in Finland
A blackbird that flew from the UK to Finland in less than a month, may have set a new record, birdwatchers say.

The female bird was ringed in Thetford, Norfolk, in March and found 1,700km (1,056m) away in Finland, in April, said the British Trust for Ornithology.

Trust chiefs believe the bird may have set a record, flying on average about 60.02km (37.3m) a day.

The record was unusual because not many blackbirds ringed in Norfolk have been found in Finland, the trust added.

Regular winter blackbirds may be from as far afield as Finland, Germany or even Russia
Ashley Saunders

The trust's ringing officer Mark Grantham said: "Since the ringing scheme in Britain and Ireland began over 95 years ago, only 13 blackbirds ringed in Norfolk have been found in Finland, so this is a very unusual record.

"People may be surprised though that their regular winter blackbirds may be from as far afield as Finland, Germany or even Russia."

Ashley Saunders, who originally caught the bird near Fakenham, said: "We caught this bird during a routine session at our winter feeding site in woodland near Kettlestone.

"We normally catch large numbers of blue and great tits there, with just the occasional blackbird - little could we have known how far this bird would eventually travel."

Anyone who finds a ringed bird is asked to report it via www.ring.ac


SEE ALSO
Long-haul bird reported missing
02 May 06 |  Norfolk

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