Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Black-headed Gull - Yellow 2PAC

On the same day that one of our study birds was recorded in southern England (see here), a bird which had made the journey in the opposite direction was photographed by Neal Warnock at Carnlough, Co. Antrim.

 2PAC  at Carnlough, 3 Dec 2016
Photo by Neal Warnock

 2PAC  was ringed as an adult by the North Thames Gull Group at Pitsea landfill site in Essex on 27th February 2016 and this is the first resighting of it since.

The bird has since been re-sighted by Gary and he managed to get a closer photo.

 2PAC  at Carnlough, 16 Dec 2016
Photo by Gary Platt

I wonder if this is a continental bird which has regularly wintered in Co. Antrim and was trapped on it's return journey east. Hopefully further re-sightings of the bird will tell us.

Many thanks to Neal and Gary for their photos and Paul Roper at NTGG for the information.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Another wanderer returns

A couple of weeks back, I put up a short post about visiting sites around Carrickfergus (see here). The visit was in the hope of seeing the German-ringed bird we caught and colour-ringed last winter (see here), which was subsequently recorded in Poland (see here).

Well, as usual, Gary has beaten me to it!

I was delighted when he sent an email on Saturday evening with the photo below attached,  2ANX  is back. 

Photo by Gary Platt

Many thanks to Gary for the photo and his efforts in re-sighting so many ringed birds here.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Where have you been?!

We have received a report from the BTO that one of our birds was recorded in Norfolk last week.

 2BAN  was ringed as a chick on RSPB Blue Circle Island in 2013 and hasn't been seen since, until it was seen at Ormesby Broad near Great Yarmouth.

Ringing on Blue Circle Island, July 2013

Blue - Blue Circle Island, Antrim
Orange - Ormesby Broad, Norfolk

I do wonder where these birds go that they can manage to go unrecorded for several years before turning up. Gary had another recent example when he recorded one of Shane's colour-ringed Common Gulls at Whitehead, just 8 miles from the Copelands where it was ringed over six years ago.

It would be fantastic at some stage to tag birds to see where exactly they go on their travels. I'm sure we'd learn so much we don't know.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

First new bird of the winter caught and ringed

After a fairly quiet winter last year catching wise, we are hoping to add some wintering birds to our study in an effort to establish where our wintering birds have originated.

On Sunday morning, a couple of us met up at a site where we have had some success catching birds in the past. Generally these sites need to be places where the birds are used to be being fed by people and have lost some of their fear. As such, sites tend to be duck ponds or fast-food car parks!

Unfortunately, birds appeared wary and we only managed to catch and ring one new bird, a first-winter bird. While we at least know the age of this bird, who knows where it has come from. 

In addition to this new study bird, there were 20 re-sightings of colour-ringed birds, including the Lithuanian BHG with a Polish colour-ring that we first recorded at Antrim in October 2012 (see here).

2CJT shortly after being ringed

Perhaps it was the fact it has been slightly milder recently, but we will keep trying and hopefully add a few more individuals in coming months.