It has been a while since my last update (Feb 2013), so I thought I should post a quick update to let you know how the study is going.
Since last November, when the study began, a total of 142 black-headed gulls have been colour-ringed here. Ninety-two of these were pullus at three breeding colonies (see here, here, here and here), the rest were fledged birds caught as and when the opportunity arose!
As of the end of October, 419 re-sightings of 50 individual birds from 27 different observers have been received. Currently, this is a re-sighting rate of over 35% and means we are well on track to reach the target of 500 re-sightings by the end of 2013.
The most interesting record so far, has been 2AAR, which I blogged about last week (see here).
On Tuesday afternoon, I stopped off at Antrim and recorded 23 colour-ringed black-headed gulls. Twenty-one were locally-ringed birds and two ringed in Poland, including T35J which wintered here last year, and a new bird which I will blog about in a few days.
Last week, I managed to catch and ring three new birds, the first this winter. I hope that, with a bit more effort and the use of a whoosh net, the number of wintering birds caught and ringed in coming months will increase on last year, generating a few more foreign recoveries next spring.
Finally, I will be presenting a poster on the study at the upcoming Cork Ornithological Research Conference on Saturday 23 November. If you're attending the conference, it'd be great to meet / catch up with you.