Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Back online!

Once again, the blog has been neglected over past months. A perfect storm of fieldwork, expanding family, computer problems and other commitments has meant it has taken a hit and not been maintained.

All back online now and hopefully normal service will resume.

An update will be posted in coming days, especially since we have recently seen the 5th anniversary of the project starting. In the meantime rest assured that although things have been quiet, there has been plenty going on in the background with re-sightings from near and far and a cohort of 2017 chicks colour-ringed at two of our study sites.

More soon....

Friday, 17 March 2017

Where have you been?

In the last post I touched on how some birds, despite being colour-ringed, can go long periods undetected.

Well, Suzanne got another example last weekend...

During another visit to Lurgan Park she photographed another colour-ringed Black-headed Gull 290P

Photo by Suzanne Belshaw

We knew from previous sightings that this was likely a bird from Lough Mask in Mayo, so she reported her sighting to Chris Benson and Eoin McGreal.

Chris replied, informing us that 290P had indeed been ringed at Lough Mask, as a chick back in June 2007. This was the first re-sighting of it in the 10 years since!

This is similar to one of Gary's sightings from last spring, when he spotted a different Lough Mask bird at Glynn, Larne Lough which had also been ringed in 2007 (see here). This too, was the first re-sighting.

Many thanks to Suzanne for her sightings and Chris for the ringing information.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Black-headed Gull - Blue 2F05

Suzanne recently photographed a Black-headed Gull with a blue colour-ring at Lurgan Park, Armagh.

Photo by Suzanne Belshaw

She reported her sighting to the BTO and heard back that it had been ringed as a first-winter in December 2012 at Preston Docks in Lancashire. 

Blue - Preston Docks, Lancashire
Yellow - Lurgan Park, Armagh

We don't know if the bird has been recorded between these sightings and although you might not think it, it's amazing how long some birds can go undetected....more to follow on this soon!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Black-headed Gull - Yellow 2BT3

David Nixon reported a sighting of 2BT3 at Mill Quarter Bay, Strangford Lough back in November 2016.

We heard back in January from Grampian Ringing Group that it had been ringed as an adult during a night-time mist-netting session on the Ythan Estuary in August 2016.

Yellow - Ythan, Aberdeenshire
Blue - Mill Quarter Bay, Down

Grampian Ringing Group have been colour-ringing Sandwich Terns at the Ythan since 2010 (see here) and we have had a number of their birds recorded in NI (see here and here).

As part of their study, they catch birds at night in mist nets and they sometimes catch other species which they also ring, including Black-headed Gulls. This is the second colour-ringed Black-headed Gull from Grampian we have reported from NI (see here).

Many thanks to David for his report and Calum for the life-history.