Report Guernsey Colour Ringed Gulls

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Guernsey Pelagic 24 August 2014

One of the highlights of autumn birding in Guernsey is the annual pelagic trip organised by Chris Mourant. Local boat owner Richard Keen has been taking birders out on these trips for many years now. This year a dozen ken birders and photographers set off on 24 August. As usual we circumnavigated Guernsey in an anti-clockwise direction, motoring up to ten miles or so from the coastline.
The weather this year was perfect with very calm seas, and the birding experience was definitely one of quality over quantity. Many of the usual pelagic species were seen including three species of skuas, two shearwaters, a few Common Terns, surprisingly few European Storm-Petrels and a very nice scattering of my favourite (of course) Lesser Black-backed Gulls!
In addition to the birds we also encountered at least two Minke Whales, many Common Dolphins and a few Harbour Porpoises.
Fortunately local bird photographer has sent me a few photos of the start birds (Arctic Skuas) and a very nice close Manx Shearwater.




Arctic Skuas and Manx Shearwater 24 Aug 2014 (c) Tony Loaring
More of Tony's excellent bird photos can be seen on his web site - Antony Loaring Bird & Wildlife Photography

 

 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Norwegian LBBG

 
The regular autumn west coast flock of LBBGs has not built to its usual levels this autumn. Perhaps many of the birds have also moved south? Amongst less than ten LBBGs at Vazon Beach, Guernsey this morning was Black JR0P. This gull was ringed as a chick in June 2012 on Rauna, Vest-Agder, Norway. It was seen back on Rauna this summer.
This was one of only 15 cr LBBGs observed this morning - all the rest being Guernsey and Alderney-ringed birds.
LBBG Black JR0P at Vazon, Guernsey - (c) PKV

 



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

More Exciting Gull News


It is such a busy time of year at the moment, with so many reports of our colour-ringed gulls outside the Channel Islands that it is very difficult to keep up with blog postings! There have been so many interesting reports in the past few weeks that it is difficult to  pick out  a few highlights. Last week Tin van Nus and Pedro Moreira recorded 39 Guernsey-ringed LBBGs at Eirol Landfill during a single visit, while Salva Garcia and Gerry O’Neill made 15 Guernsey LBBG colour ring observations at Malaga Port last weekend! The Madrid Gull Team is also reporting a build-up of our gulls on the landfills in central Spain…and there have been a whole plethora of reports from beaches in northern Spain and all down Portugal’s west coast.
Herring Gulls are not to be over-looked either, with many of the locally nesting birds now being reported from their regular autumn/wintering areas along the French coast from Calvados to Loire-Atlantique.
The first of the locally-ringed wandering immature GBBGs are also now turning up in SW England, with Dawlish Warren (watched in the main by Lee Collins) being one of the most productive sites for our birds.
However…pride of place over the past few weeks must go to Yellow-legged Gull Black 1AT2, which was recorded on 5th September 2014 at Pavoa de Varzim, Porto, Portugal by Inocencio Oliveira and Teresa Rocha. This gull was originally ringed as a juvenile bird in our garden in July 2012, before being reported on a number of occasions between January 2013 and January 2014 from Catalunya, Spain. This young gull has therefore now been reported on both the east and west coasts of Iberia!
Yellow-legged Gull at Pavoa de Varzim, Porto, Portugal on 05 September 2014 (c) Inocencio Oliveira
 

 

 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

And yet another old Great Black-backed Gull!

A very quick look at Chouet Landfill Beach this morning enabled me to read another metal ring on a GBBG, and this one proved to be another 20+ year old gull. I ringed Jersey E4960 as a chick in June 1992, and hadn't recorded it again until today...when it is now more than 22 years and two months old - absolutely fantastic!
GBBG E4960 amongst roosting GBBGs at CLB (c) PKV


Saturday, August 30, 2014

GBBGs Gathering.

A run down the west coast this morning proved fruitless, with no sign of the usual autumn LBBG flock there. Fortunately Chouet was covered in gulls, and as the tide rose many came closer and closer to the car. As I've come to expect at this time of year, the GBBG numbers were impressive with around 300+ birds (including 37 ringed birds). Most were Guernsey-ringed GBBGs, but there were also the two usual immature Norwegian birds, along with the long-staying English gull, and six French birds (five from Chausey Islands) and a youngster from Le Havre, Seine-Maritime.
 












Gulls and GBBGs at Chouet (c) PKV





Friday, August 29, 2014

2014 Seabird Monitoring in the Bailiwick of Guernsey

I've now posted the last of the 2014 seabird breeding season monitoring visits on my web site...so details of all trips are now available at the following link:-
I'll also be producing a summary report this year...but not for a few weeks yet!



(c) PKV

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Exodus of LBBGs

It's always an exciting time of year, and although part of me is sad to see our LBBGs drifting off on their southward migrations, it is thrilling to receive daily updates on their travels. The scale of the gull projects in Guernsey is now such that it is not at all unusual for a number of our gulls to be present at the same stop-over sites in France, Spain and Portugal. In the past few days reports have included c 20 LBBGs at Eirol Landfill, Portugal, c 20 over a period of several days at Torreira Beach, Portugal, eleven at Odiel, Huelva, Spain and half a dozen or so at landfills in central Spain. The early birds are also back with Salva Garcia in Malaga, Southern Spain. In addition we have reports from many observers at beaches on Portugal's west coast. In some cases the birds are attracted by Xavega - the traditional fishing where the catch is landed on the beach. José Tavares has reported good numbers of Guernsey-ringed LBBGs on Torreira Beach, Aveiro, Portugal. The photos below show why!


Xavega Fishing at Torreira Beach, Aveiro, Portugal (c) José Tavarés



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lots of Juvenile LBBGs

Perhaps the highlight of the weekend for me has been the noticeable increase in juvenile LBBGs on the northern beaches. Most now appear to be independent, but there are still quite a few begging from parents. In fact it has been a common sound in the garden this weekend - LBBGs flying over with begging juveniles in tow! Although most of the juvenile LBBGs are not ringed, it's always thrilling to see some of our colour ringed birds away from the colonies!













Gulls from the weekend (c) PKV


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More Interesting GBBG News from France!


It would seem that GBBGs are forming the subject of my recent blogs! While we colour ring less GBBGs than either Herring Gulls or LBBGs, they are producing some very valuable data for our gull research projects. Even before we began to colour ring them in 2009, we had been metal ringing chicks for many years. We are finding that many juvenile and immature GBBGs wander the western English Channel coasts until they reach near breeding maturity. They are commonly reported from South-west England and North-west France. A minority disperse further south in France to Vendee, or even as far as the Spanish border, but it is unusual to get reports of our GBBGs sighted east up the English Channel.
This is why it is even more remarkable that of the seven pairs of GBBGs nesting in Boulogne Harbour, Pas-de-Calais, France  two of the adults were metal ringed as chicks in Guernsey! J0658 was ringed in July 2005 on Burhou, Alderney by Jamie Hooper. It was first recorded in Boulogne on 02 July 2007, and it has now bred in the port several times, raising two chicks this summer. J0075 was ringed by me in July 2006  on Lihou, Guernsey. It was first recorded at Boulogne this summer, where it raised a single chick to fledging. These birds nest on roof tops of industrial buildings in the port (see photos below).
Our thanks to Jean-Michel Sauvage for reading these metal rings on several occasions and keeping very good track of both birds. Some of Jean-Michel’s excellent photos of both gulls (with their fledged chicks) and their nesting sites are shown below:-






GBBGs J0075 and J0658 and their nesting sites at Boulogne, France (c) Jean-Michel Sauvage
 
 

 

Monday, August 11, 2014

An Even Older Guernsey Great Black-backed Gull!


Hot on the heels of old-timer GBBG E5506 , now comes an even older bird, which is getting very close to breaking the UK longevity record for this species. Last night Lee Collins reported seeing GBBG Jersey metal ring E4357 at Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve, Devon, England. I ringed this bird as a chick in June 1990…so it is now just over 24 years, one month and two weeks of age! If this wonderful old gull can survive another year and manage to get its metal ring read again – Guernsey will snatch the record away from Scotland (not that we’re competitive down here!).
 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Guernsey Great Black-backed Gull Getting Close to Longevity Record

One of the gulls seen at Chouet Landfill yesterday was a metal ringed bird - Jersey E5506. I ringed this gull as a chick in Herm, Guernsey on 22 June 1993, so this bird has now entered its 22nd year! According to the British Trust for Ornithology Longevity Records the oldest GBBG on record is a bird ringed in Orkney, Scotland in July 1983, and found predated there in July 2008 - making the bird 24 years, 11 months and 25 days old. E5506 isn't quite there yet...but I hope it can survive a few more years' yet!
GBBG E5506 at Chouet Landfill (c) PKV


Saturday, August 9, 2014

And Another Great Morning at Chouet Landfill

Given the state of the tide last week, I watched the beaches rather than Chouet Landfill, so it was a pleasant change this morning to enter the landfill and see what was happening. The answer was a great deal, although the numbers of LBBGs have fallen significantly in recent weeks. There were still 400+ at the landfill, including 130 colour ringed birds, but the site is now very dominated once again by Herring Gulls (c 4,000+ present). Amongst the LBBGs was one of Mike Marsh's birds from Suffolk, England - Red FAF.U.























Gulls at Chouet Landfill today (c) PKV