Carried out on the same weekend once a month right across the country, these counts allow the BTO to identify population sizes, determine trends in numbers and distribution of particular species and to identify important sites for waterbirds.
Yesterday, while I was out counting my section of Belfast Lough, I noticed a small flock of black-headed gulls roosting near the old landfill site on Dargan Road. Scanning through them, checking for colour-rings, I was delighted to find one of them sporting a white ring with J5P9 engraved on it.
Checking the brilliant cr-birding website, I realised that this was another Norwegian ringed bird, following on from Stephen and Cameron's sightings earlier this winter (see here and here).
Entering the details on the Norwegian colour-ringing website, I got an instance response to tell me that this bird had been ringed in Oslo in April 2011.
Since then, it has been recorded in Cumbria (August 2011), back in Norway (July 2012 and April 2013) and Stranraer (November 2013), before I saw it yesterday in Belfast.
|Red - Ringed in Oslo, April 2011|
Yellow - Recorded in Cumbria, August 2011
Light blue - Seen back in Norway, July 2012 & April 2013
Green - Recorded at Stranraer, November 2013
Blue - Recorded at Belfast, December 2013