Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Black-headed Gull - Red 2A55

Aaron Devlin got in touch again to say that he had seen another colour-ringed black-headed gull at the weekend.

This time, it was 2A55.

Photo by Aaron Devlin
I sent the record off to Iain Livingstone of Clyde Ringing Group in Scotland and he promptly got back in touch to let us know that this bird was ringed as a pulli at Carron Valley Reservoir on 25 June this year.

Red - Carron Valley Reservoir
Blue - Connswater, Belfast

Other than two, fairly local re-sightings, this is their first "proper" keep an eye out for BHG with red rings and hopefully we can get a few more for Iain and the Clyde RG.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Black-headed Gull - EX97278

Back at the start of last month, I blogged about a short visit I made to Lough Neagh where I reported seeing several of our colour-ringed study gulls, as well as a juvenile fitted with a metal ring (see here).

Interestingly, it was ringed on the left leg and this got me thinking...other than me, there can't be too many left-handed ringers ringing black-headed gulls in NI (assuming this was a Northern Irish bird), and I said to myself, "I bet Philip Galbraith ringed that!"

Thankfully, with the help of some bread, a good camera and plenty of luck, I was able to take enough photos of various angles of the ring, allowing me to piece together the number.

Sure enough...EX97278 was ringed by Philip Galbraith during our evening on Mew back in mid-June (see here).  This bird was one of the 55 black-headed gulls we ringed that evening, but which were too small to colour-ring.

Red - Mew Island (ringed 19 June 2013)
Blue - Antrim Forum (re-sighted 3 August 2013)

At around 50 km, it's not a massive movement for a black-headed gull, but is interesting nonetheless.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Black-headed Gull - White VX18

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, I was awaiting confirmation of another colour-ringed Black-headed Gull which was seen in Belfast last week.

This one, VX18, was reported by Aaron Devlin (via Kerry Leonard) who spotted the bird at Connswater Shopping Centre in east Belfast on 30 August 2013.

Photo by Aaron Devlin

A couple of emails later and we heard back from Kjeld Tommy Pedersen that he had ringed this bird as a pulli (chick) on 13 June this year on the island of Hirsholm, off north-east Denmark (what a fantastic looking place!). 

Photo by Kjeld Tommy Pedersen

Red - Hirsholm, Denmark
Blue - Belfast, Northern Ireland

Kjeld very kindly sent through some photos of them working at the colony this summer and a short video, which is best enjoyed a full volume!

Since last winter, when I started recording where ringed black-headed gulls wintering in Northern Ireland originated, the list of countries has now grown to eleven.

Map showing where wintering BHG in NI were originally ringed

Thanks to Aaron and Kerry for reporting the bird and to Kjeld for allowing me to post his photos and video.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Black-headed Gull - Yellow ACY6

I recently got a text message from Wilton Farrelly, who had seen a colour-ringed black-headed gull at Kinnegar Shore in Belfast Lough, asking if it was one of our study birds.

The bird in question was yellow ACY6 and while, sadly, it isn't from the Northern Ireland project, it turned out to be much more exciting!

Photo by Wilton Farrelly
Photo by Wilton Farrelly

A quick check of the brilliant cr-birding website told me that this bird was one from a German project run by Jorg Hadasch, so I forwarded Jorg's details to Wilton.

Jorg promptly replied to inform us that this bird was ringed as a pulli (chick) in the Leese/Stolzenau region of Kreis Nienburg, Niedersachsen in Germany on 17 June 2011 and that this is the first time it has been re-sighted.

Red - Leese/Stolzenau, Germany
Blue - Kinnegar Shore, Belfast Lough, NI

A movement of 1016km, this again supports the evidence that our wintering population of black-headed gulls here is augmented by birds from continental Europe.

Thanks to Wilton for reporting the bird and sending the photo and to Jorg for the information.

I have also received word of another colour-ringed gull in Belfast last week, which would add yet another country to the list of where our wintering gulls originated, but I'm just waiting on confirmation.  Keep an eye on the blog in the next couple of days for news about that bird.