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Back in 1996 Nicholas Watts, the owner of Vine House Farm bird foods and life-long campaigner for wildlife friendly farming, did something he often did: put a ring on a young Common Tern chick nesting on his farm so it could be identified in the future. Little did he know all those years back that the very same bird would, incredibly and after flying perhaps 300,000 miles over 14 years, be found by his wife. Nicholas takes up the story…

“One day in June this year my wife found a dead bird on Hunstanton beach with a ring on its leg. She wasn’t sure of the species but without saying anything to me she sent the ring number to the address on the ring. Last week she received a letter from the British Trust for Ornithology saying that the bird was a Common Tern ringed in Baston Fen as a nestling in June 1996 by Nicholas Watts – myself!! What a coincidence and surely a chance in ten million.

“Just think how far this bird will have travelled in those 14 years....

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