This is a Ruff.
More specifically it’s a satellite male Ruff, in at least its 7th calendar year of existence.
Yep, it’s those colour rings that are the give away, and it was rung at Oosterlittens, Weakens; in Friesland, The Netherlands.
In July, a month after it was rung, it was seen near Great Yarmouth. It disappeared for two years before being seen in February at Thornham; repeating this trick again, before finally being seen over December and January at Titchwell. Strangely, for such a distinctive and unique bird, there have been hardly any controls from it, and only ever in Norfolk.
Ruffs are culturally famous of course, for bequeathing the idea of having silly, frilly fringe around the necks to the monarchy and fashionable, status conscious upper echelons of 16th-17th century society.
The University of Groningen (the most northerly mainland Dutch province) is running the study, and they have six aims:
1. What is the size of the passage population using Fryslân and how does that relate to the global population size?
2. How long is the stopover period of an individual Ruff? And what habitats do Ruffs use whilst staging?
3. Where does the Frisian passage population breed? Is it confined to Western Europe or do parts of the population continue eastwards, and breed maybe as far as eastern Russia?
4. What is the annual survival and are there differences between males and females in survival?
5. Do Ruffs segregate into genetically distinguishable populations? The Ruff has a vast distribution range. Other waders with similar distributions in the arctic show genetic population structuring.
6. What is the reproductive strategy of the faeder? Ruff males come in three types: the dominant (independent) male, the satellite male and the faeder, a female mimic on which discovery we reported in the 2004 Newsletter.
More information can be found at their website which I thoroughly recommend you to look at.