Monday, 18 December 2017

Black-headed Gull - Yellow 2H31

Scanning through a large flock of roosting Herring and Black-headed Gulls at the former landfill site at Dargan on the shores of Belfast Lough last week, I noticed a Black-headed Gull with a yellow ring.

It took a bit of time to get the code as the wind kept blowing the telescope about, but eventually I managed to read it as 2H31 and then got a couple of dodgy digi-scoped record shots of the bird on my phone.

Checking the fantastic, website, I reported the sighting to Paul Roper of North Thames Gull Group who got back to tell me that it had been caught and ringed as an adult at Pitsea Landfill Site in Essex in March this year.

Yellow - Pitsea Landfill Site
Red - Dargan, Belfast Lough

This is the first sighting since.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Black-headed Gull - Black 2AXV

In October last year, Gary recorded a colour-ringed first-winter bird at Peoples Park, Ballymena (see here).

2AXV at Peoples Park, October 2016
Photo by Gary Platt

Gary heard back that the bird had been ringed as a chick by Brewood Ringing Group at Marsh Lane Nature Reserve in the West Midlands in June 2016.

Black - Marsh Lane Nature Reserve
Orange - Peoples Park, Ballymena

The bird was recorded at Peoples Park throughout the winter, with the last sighting being on 11th March 2017.

2AXV at Peoples Park in November 2016 (top), December 2016 (middle) and February 2017 (bottom)
Photos by Gary Platt

In yet another example of a wintering Black-headed Gull showing strong site fidelity, 2ANX has returned to Peoples Park for a second winter having been recorded on 1st September 2017.

2AXV at Peoples Park in September 2017 (top) and December 2017 (bottom)
Photos by Gary Platt

Many thanks to Gary for the information and all the photos which give us an insight to the changing plumage of 2AXV as it ages.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Common Gull - Orange 2A06

Paul McCullough recently sent through a photo of a colour-ringed Common Gull roosting at Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim.

Photo by Paul McCullough

This bird, originally ringed by Grampian Ringing Group as a breeding adult in July 2015 and was subsequently recorded at Carrickfergus in December 2015 by Gary (see here). 

2A06 at Carrick, December 2015
Photo by Gary Platt

It was recorded later that winter by Cameron Moore, in February 2016. 

It went undetected for 18 months, before being seen at Pow Burn, Prestwick in Ayrshire in September this year and then Paul's sighting of the bird back at Carrick.

Many thanks to Paul for the report and to Gary and Calum at GRG for the information.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Black-headed Gull - Yellow T58T

Suzanne reported that T58T was seen briefly at Lurgan Park on Friday 1st December.

T58T at Lurgan Park, December 2017
Photo by Suzanne Belshaw

T58T was caught and ringed in Poland as an adult in July 2016 by Lukasz Borek, the same ringer who has recorded one of "our" birds in Poland a couple of times (see here). I say "our" because it only spends the winter here, it was most likely born in NE Germany or NW Poland.

It was first recorded at Lurgan Park in December 2016 and was regular sighting there throughout last winter, last being seen on 19th February.

The bird was photographed back in Poland in July this year and has now returned to Co. Armagh for another winter. 

In all likelihood, this bird had been wintering at Lurgan during previous years but went unnoticed until it was ringed by Lukasz. 

This is one of several Polish colour-ringed birds we have recorded here in winter which we've also been lucky enough to have recorded back on their breeding grounds. 

All of this information provides us with an insight to the seasonal movements of these overlooked long-distance migrants.