Saturday, 22 August 2015

Brace yourself...winter is coming!

Actually, in the gull world it has already started.

As the breeding season draws to an end around mid- to late-June, adults and juveniles begin to disperse and head to their respective wintering sites. 

We had a number of British ringed birds back on their wintering sites in early July and, although they wouldn't be expected until the end of the month, several continental birds have been recorded in NI in early August.

Gareth has started his weekly ring-reading visits to Antrim (see here) and a couple of weeks ago, I recorded a good sized flock over 800 Black-headed Gulls feeding at Dargan Bay. There was at least one bird with an orange colour-ring present, unfortunately it was just too far away to read the code. Frustrating stuff!

So far this winter (since the start of July!), we have had:

  • A bird ringed as an adult on North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory in June 2011 at Kinnego Marina (not colour-ringed)
  • T35J (see here) returning to Antrim for another winter
  • T56W (see here) recorded back at Whitehouse Lagoon for another winter

Photo by Suzanne Belshaw
Many thanks to everyone who has reported sightings recently and if you have any sightings which you would like to share with the project, please do so at

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