Drake Mandarin Duck at Vale Marais 16 January 2011 - Phil AlexanderA very successful early morning session at Chouet on Saturday 15 January resulted in a huge haul of 210 locally colour ringed Herring Gulls being recorded, along with a new bird (Blue EXT) ringed as an adult at Stoke Orchard Landfill, Gloucestershire on 23 January 2010. Amongst the local Herring Gulls were three more that have just returned from wintering in France, as well as three back from Jersey.
There were also around 170 Great Black-backed Gulls at Chouet, including five French cr birds (four Chausey Islands – Seb Provost and one Le Havre, Seine-Maritime Gilles Le Guillou), as well as a 1st winter bird ringed as a chick on St George’s Island, Looe, Cornwall in July 2010. All of these gulls had been previously recorded in Guernsey, although some had not been seen for several months.
Although no colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls were reported, there was a slight increase of adults at Chouet (10 birds). One of these was metal ringed, but it was far too distant to read the ring code. It was the first indication though that the first of my colour ringed LBBGs will be back on the island soon!
On Sunday, an attempt to catch some more Common Moorhens at the Vale Marais for my long-term study was hampered by strong winds, and in the end only a couple of retraps were caught – one of these had been ringed the previous weekend, while the other had been ringed as a 2nd summer male on 16 March 2008. The drake Mandarin Duck also put in another appearance in the hand!