Sunday, 23 November 2014

Common Gull - Green J074

Last winter, Cameron Moore reported a colour-ringed Common Gull at Whitehead in County Antrim (see here). J074, had been ringed in Bergen in Norway and Cameron's sighting was the first away from the ringing location.

Well, Cameron got in touch again this week to send of a photo of the same bird which is back at Whitehead this winter.

Photo by Cameron Moore
I reported it via the Norwegian colour-ringing website and could immediately see that J074 had spent the summer back at Bergen, where it was reported eight times between May and July. There are even a couple of photos of it taken in June.

This is a fantastic record which highlights yet another confirmation that "our" wintering gulls are in fact continental birds migrating here to spend the winter months.

Many thanks to Cameron for reporting his sighting and sending on the photo.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Update on BHGNI - Nov 2014

We had a great day at the BTO NI Conference last Saturday and it was great to see three talks dedicated to gulls. Some absolutely fascinating data being gathered from the tagged Herring Gulls from Big Copeland.

As I had to get everything up-to-date in preparation for my talk on the Black-headed Gull project at the conference and the fact that this week marked two years since we began colour-ringing here, I thought this was a good time to post an update.

A total of 298 Black-headed Gulls have been colour-ringed here as part of our project since November 2012, 234 pulli and 64 fledged birds. There have been 1340 re-sightings of 88 individual birds, the latest of which is 2AFD. This bird was ringed as an adult male at Antrim last winter and hasn't been seen until Gareth photographed it in Ballymena earlier this week.

Photo by Gareth Platt

Most importantly, over 50 people have taken time to report their sightings of colour-ringed gulls, which is fantastic!

In terms of wintering birds originating in other countries, recent records have included birds from Latvia, Netherlands and England and the list of countries from where wintering birds recorded here have come from now stands at fourteen.

Finally, a massive thank you to everyone who has supported BHGNI on Kickstarter. If you would be able to support the project by donating a couple of quid, please visit the link below. We need to reach the target of £350 or else nothing is received!


Saturday, 8 November 2014

BHGNI on Kickstarter!

As funding for conservation projects is hard to come by at the minute, we've launched a Kickstarter to try and raise some funds to buy colour-rings for the 2015 season. Please like, share and most of all, feel free to pledge

If you don't know what Kickstarter is, read on....

Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you.

If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen.

Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothingprojects must reach their funding goals to receive any money.

We have set a funding goal of £350 which will allow us to double the dataset of our project in 2015 and if you would like to support it, please visit the link below and help out.

All the money raised will go directly to the NI BHG project and if we raise more than the funding goal, all the better, it means more birds will be included in our project!

Thank you!!


Friday, 7 November 2014

Herring Gull - Yellow 0V:W

Two colour-ringed gulls were photographed at Ballycarry, Larne Lough yesterday and posted on the NIBA blog (see here), one of "my" Black-headed Gulls and a Herring Gull sporting a yellow ring with the inscription 0V:W

Photo by Cameron Moore
Checking the website, a report of the sighting was sent to Lee Barber. It turns out however, that while it is part of a project registered to Lee in England, the Herring Gull was actually ringed on the Copeland Islands earlier this year.

I felt a bit of an idiot at this point, as the re-sightings co-ordinator for the Copeland colour-ringed gulls is yours truly! Oops. I don't know why I didn't check our database first.

Anyway, this is the first re-sighting of it since. In fact, this is the first re-sighting of any of our birds from Copeland, so we're delighted!

A total of 16 Herring Gulls were colour-ringed in May in the first year of what is an extension to a project already ongoing in mainland UK.

Anyone attending the BTO Conference at Oxford Island tomorrow will hear presentations on both these projects during the afternoon session.

Photo by Cameron Moore
Many thanks to Cameron Moore for reporting his sightings and the photos and to Lee for keeping me right!