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As mist clamped in on Machrihanish Seabird Observatory its warden ended his vigil for this year’s first Twite.
Eddie Maguire said: ‘Since 2014, a colour ringed Twite has travelled from Machrihanish to Flintshire in North Wales and back three times.
‘A single journey to Connah’s Quay in Flintshire is 185.16 miles. The six single journeys completed by this bird amounts to 1,111.01 miles.’
Last Sunday afternoon, Mr Maguire, 71, who first learned the scientific Latin names of birds in his schooldays, said that he was waiting for this year’s first Twite, Cardvelis flavirostris, to return from the islands.
Since 2010 when the Observatory joined the UK Twite study project, Mr Maguire, who designed his own trap three years ago has caught and colour ringed more than 2,000 of this declining species.
Mr Maguire added: ‘The main threats to the species are loss of habitats in both breeding and wintering areas.
‘Recoveries of our ringed birds reveal that the main wintering area for flocks that pass through Machrihanish in the autumn is NW England particularly Lancashire.
A Twite photographed by Mr Maguire at Machrihanish. NO_c28seabird01_Twite 1