Wednesday, 3 April 2013

"A very" Good Friday - Part I

Last Friday afternoon I headed down to the Ards Peninsula and I called into Millisle for a quick look to see if there were any colour-ringed gulls around.

I threw some bread out and the mixed flock of Black-headed, Common, Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls very quickly appeared around the car.  Unfortunately, very few of the gulls landed, instead most of them stayed on the wing in the strong breeze.

Frustratingly, I could see a Common Gull with a blue colour-ring but it was one of the birds which had decided not to land...and when it did, it was extremely brief!

Spot the colour-ring!
Ah, so close!

Eventually the bird touched down just long enough for me to catch a photo and make out the code as 2ADX


After, I scanned the birds roosting along the tideline and managed to digi-scope a shot of another bird, 2AAC, with my phone.

Both of these birds have been ringed by Shane Wolsey on Big Copeland, the largest island in the nearby Copeland Islands archipelago.  Copeland Bird Observatory is located on Old Lighthouse Island, which is north of Big Copeland. 

Although this isn't a big movement, Shane has had reports of birds turning up further afield including two birds at Duncannon Strand, Duncannon, Co. Wexford, one on 8th January and another bird on 10th January. Another bird was reported in Limerick City on 12th January, and finally 2AXH was seen at Kervigen Beach, Plomodiern, Finistère, France!

Shane has been using both blue and yellow colour-rings and if you happen to see any Common Gulls with colour-rings, please report them to Shane at

I left Millisle and headed south to the village of Ballywalter where I saw that P736 was still around. I originally saw and reported about this bird back in February (see here).

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