Report Guernsey Colour Ringed Gulls

Sightings of Guernsey colour ringed Gulls can be entered here for an instant life history, or sent to for a life history to be returned by e-mail to observers.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Alderney's Gannet Cam Views Chicks on Ortac

In terms of promotion of Conservation and Education, the Alderney Wildlife Trust takes some beating, especially when you consider just how small it is! One of this year's highlights has been the development of a very successful live camera on one of Alderney's two gannetries. Roland Gauvain, the AWT manager recently posted that the AWT is :-

"Over the moon to say we can now see Gannet Chicks clearly for the very first time on GannetCam.

So please take a moment to act the expectant parent by visiting our chicks and showing them off to your friends>.
Les Etacs gannetry from the air (c) PKV

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Shag Family

I'm delighted to report that the Shag camera family continues to do very well. Here's an image from a few minutes earlier this morning where both adults are back resting at the nest with three very healthy looking fledglings! Let's hope all three youngsters fledge the nest successfully fairly shortly!
Chris Mourant ringed two of the chicks last week. The third bird cleverly evaded us by retreating into a small hole that we could not reach into!
Both adults and all three youngsters at the Shag Camera Nest this morning!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

2014 GuernseyGulls Annual Report Finally Available!

I have finally been able to complete and publish on line the 2014 GuernseyGulls Annual Report. I had hoped to pack it with photographs (like previous reports), but I am so stretched with work at the moment that I've decided finally to go ahead and publish the actual report. Hopefully I'll get back and add photos at a later date.
2014 was another massively successful year for the gull research in the Bailiwick of Guernsey...take a look in the link below:-

LBBG Chick on Burhou July 2014

Monday, June 15, 2015

My Oldest Bird Ever!

I've just received news of my oldest ringed bird to date...a Northern Gannet which I ringed on an annual ringing trip to Les Etacs, Alderney on 25 June 1983. This bird was reported found dead in Friesland, The Netherlands on 21 May 2015 - some 31 years and 11 months after ringing!
While a very impressive age for any bird, this is not the oldest Gannet on record. This record is held by a Gannet ringed in Britain which was found dead 37 years and five months later.
One can only wonder how many chicks such a successful bird as F6491 has raised in its long lifetime?!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer priority is the National Seabird Census - Seabirds Count

The priority so far this summer has been in progressing the first National Seabird Census count in the Bailiwick of Guernsey for 15 years. With previous British national counts in 1970 (Operation Seafarer), 1986-1992 (the Seabird Colony Register) and 1998-2001 (Seabird 2000), few populations of seabirds in the Bailiwick have been systematically counted for a long time. This data is vital for establishing and monitoring conservation measures that may be needed to protect our important seabird populations.
With the field work in Guernsey, Sark, Herm, Jethou and offshore islands being done by only a handful of dedicated volunteers it has proved to be very hard (but rewarding ) work.
While some species will need to be counted next year (e.g. Common Tern and Manx Shearwater) the early results flowing in are shattering some of our more subjective views about what has been going on with our seabirds.
At last we now have up to date hard data on our populations which can be used in policy making. This must be one of the most valuable pieces of ornithological fieldwork carried out in very many years in the Islands – so very well done to the hardy few who have made it all possible!
Photos to follow in due course.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Valuable Summer Sightings!

These past two summers I have been spending time recording colour ringed gulls in the breeding colonies, rather than trying to ring new adults. This is because there is greater value to my studies by identifying the nesting sites of as many of my known birds as possible. A recent trip to colonies on Sark enabled me to identify the nesting sites of 57 gulls (40 LBBGs and 17 Herring Gulls). These records included one LBBG known to have been raised on Burhou, Alderney, which has clearly recruited into a colony on a different Channel Island.
LBBG Black 0.A9 on Burhou (c) Tim Morley

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Shag Cam Captures Egg Hatching!

The Shag Camera on Jethou has captured wonderful images of the first egg hatching. Following the life of this pair of Shags is proving to be one of the highlights of the 2015 Seabird Season so far. You can take a look at the images at the following link:-

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Another Superb Week Ringing Gulls at Chouet Landfill!

This year’s gull cannon netting week at Chouet Landfill took place between 11 and 16 May. With the largest Team so far in the seven year history of “Gull Week” the small core Guernsey Team was joined by members from the North Thames Gull Group and the West Cornwall Ringing Group, as well as ringers from Alderney and Jersey. Led as ever by Paul Roper from NTGG we had a somewhat frustrating start to the week, with just one catch of almost 200 gulls on the first day. Day Two began in similar vein, until we moved the catch site closer to the tipping face...then we were back in business!

Paul rapidly made up for lost time, with four catches on one of the days and several of three; and with only one half day lost to rain we managed to catch more than 1,400 gulls during the week, of which around 1,300 were new (once again indicating the large turnover of gulls at Chouet!).

Lesser Black-backed Gulls were reduced in numbers this year – probably due in part to there being less migrant birds at the site. Herring Gulls were also less numerous than usual early in the week, but this may very well have been because many fields in the south of the island were being ploughed during this week. As a result many gulls were feeding on the more natural food available in the fields rather than the less appetising fare at the landfill! We also managed to ring 12 Great Black-backed Gulls and a single Yellow-legged Gull.

Once again I am indebted to Paul Roper and the ringers involved, as well as the landfill management and staff who were magnificent in their tireless efforts to ensure that we caught as many gulls as possible!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Herring Gulls from further North

I have received three reports this month from The Netherlands (North Holland and then South Holland) of a Herring Gull colour ringed in GuernseyWhite 8JA0. What is more...this same bird has previously been reported from Scotland in October 2014! These would be exceptional movements for a locally-reared bird. However, this gull was caught in November 2013, in its first winter, during one of our infrequent winter gull catches. It is still a very exciting series of movements, but the gull is most likely to originate from a colony much further north than Guernsey, which was wintering in the islands in 2013.
Herring Gull White 8JA0 at Mejendl Beach, South Holland (c) Vincent van der Spek


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lesser Black-backed Gulls from Northern Europe

When we began our intensive week-long colour ringing at Chouet Landfill each late May/early June we assumed that pretty much all the birds present at the landfill were local birds. We now know this to be far from the truth with many adult gulls being present which are not breeding, and with significant numbers of immature gulls from colonies further north still passing through the islands at that time.
In the past few weeks I’ve received reports of three such birds, all ringed as immatures in May at Chouet Landfill, and subsequently reported from The Netherlands (two) and Norway (one).
Without the colour ringing programmes we would never have known just how important Chouet landfill has been for migrating and dispersing gulls, as well as to those nesting locally.
Gulls over Chouet Landfill (c) PKV

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The 2015 Seabird Season Gets Well Underway

2015 is a very important year for monitoring nesting seabirds in the Channel Islands, because this is Year One of the next British National Seabird Census. Most of our seabird colonies have not been accurately censused since the last national initiative in 2000!
Our earliest nesting seabirds are usually Great Cormorants, and this year is no exception. Our visits to the small colonies north of Herm and on the west coast of Guernsey resulted in counts of 36 and 16 active nests a total of 52 breeding pairs. There will be some birds to add to this Bailiwick total from Alderney, and possibly a few more from other tiny colonies. The nesting productivity seems up to par with recent years too.
In total 27 chicks were colour ringed on our first visit to the largest colony north of Herm.

The first seabird monitoring trip of 2015.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Seabird Cameras in the Channel Islands

This year we have a Seabird Camera operating on a European Shag nest on Jethou Island. At the moment the solar powered camera records an image every five minutes, but we are hoping to upgrade this to a live camera feed shortly.
There are also seabird cams on the Atlantic Puffins on Burhou, Alderney and hopefully there will soon be one on the Northern Gannet colonies off Alderney too.
Click below to see the details for all these cameras:-

Many thanks to Glyn Young and Birds on the Edge for this very helpful link and blog posting on BTE.

A recent image from the Shag Nest Camera (no eggs as of today!).









Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lots of activity on the beaches

An hour before work this morning at Chouet Landfill Beach resulted in another 180+ cr reads from the increasingly active gulls. With the 2015 breeding season fast approaching there was plenty of display behaviour and also courtship on the beach this morning. It's a wonderful time of year to study gulls' fascinating courtship rituals.
After the watch I did a short TV interview for the local news - hopefully promoting the fascinating lives of our gull populations. Just no time for any photos this morning - sorry!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

New Herring Gull from SW England and GBBG from Seine-Maritime, France

A cold NE wind this morning at Chouet Landfill Beach reminded me that it is still early spring in Guernsey! Not that the cool weather put the gulls off...there were good numbers at the landfill. A one hour watch at the adjacent beach resulted in c 160 ring reads (110 LBBGs, 40 Herring Gulls and 11 GBBGs). I'm always thrilled to record our colour ringed LBBGs returning at this time of year, but other highlights were a Herring Gull (Yellow C+Z)  ringed by Peter Rock in SW England, and another new GBBG (Black 43S) ringed by Gilles Le Guillou at Seine-Maritime, France.
GBBG Black 43S from Seine-Maritime, France (c) PKV

Herring Gull Yellow C+Z from SW England (c) PKV