Saturday, 14 November 2015

Black-headed Gull - White T5J4

Jen Lynch got in touch recently with a number of sightings of colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls which she has recorded on her travels.

One, T5J4 was recorded roosting on a roof at Warrenpoint Harbour in County Down in early October. Previous sightings of colour-ringed birds with similar rings and a quick check of the ever reliable told us that this bird was Polish in origin.

Photo by Jen Lynch

Jen sent off her sighting and heard back that the bird had been ringed as a chick in eastern Poland in June 2011. 

The distance from ringing site to re-sighting location is over 1,900km and the ringer was Michal Polakowski, the same person who observed 2AAR nearby at Hryniewicze (see here)! Wonder if 2AAR and T5J4 have ever crossed paths?!

Many thanks to Jen for the photo and passing on the information. You can follow Jen's blog by visiting

Friday, 13 November 2015

Gulls learn to exploit diving ducks for food

We already knew that gulls were intelligent, adaptable birds, but here's a study which shows it!


The original paper can be found here.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

2AFD returns

Although we have recorded many birds ringed in continental Europe wintering here in Northern Ireland, to date, we have had three birds we have ringed re-sighted in mainland Europe. 

One of these, 2AFD, was ringed at Antrim in February 2014 and was spotted back in Northern Ireland in mid-November 2014. It was recorded at Antrim throughout the winter before being recorded at Riga, Latvia in April (see here).

Photo by Richard Bosner

It was recorded at Riga on two further occasions and it hasn't been seen since...until this weekend, when Gareth photographed it back at Antrim for another winter.

Photos by Garth Platt

This was one of two birds ringed in NI last winter to turn up at Riga, hopefully the second will turn up back at Lough Neagh soon.