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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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Little Change in West Coast LBBG Flock, but GBBGs Continue to Arrive in Small Numbers

90 minutes in Chouet landfill on Saturday morning resulted in c 150 local Herring Gull colour ring reads, along with two juvenile LBBGs from Alderney and a few GBBGs. Trips down the west coast on Saturday and Sunday showed little change in the LBBG flock (still c 350 birds), and only a small number of GBBGs are present (in relatively calm weather). However, amongst the GBBGs were several new returning cr birds from Chausey, France and also a new arrival of a chick ringed at Portland Harbour this summer (White P:42A).

There were two Yellow-legged Gulls at Chouet Landfill on Saturday (one adult and one third winter) and one adult on L'Eree Beach on Sunday.

Yellow-legged Gull Chouet landfill 29 September 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yellow-legged Gulls Becoming Regular

Not long ago Yellow-legged Gulls were very scarce in Guernsey, with a handful of records each year. I can't help noticing now that I am recording one or more birds virtually every time I go down the coast. Why should this be? I think the answer is two-fold. There can't be any doubt that Yellow-legged Gulls are appearing more regularly in Guernsey. I haven't counted up...but I must have in excess of 50 bird-days this year now. Of course the other reason is probably because we are becoming better at identifying them amongst gull flocks. We are now picking out Yellow-legged Gulls of most I've commented before on this blog there is a glaring absence of juvenile/1st winter birds. This is most unlikely to be the real position, as one would expect dispersing and migrating 1st year birds to be perhaps the commonest age group to be seen in the islands. This leads me to the unfortunate conclusion that I am struggling badly to notice them amongst the numerous juvenile Herring Gulls... identifying them will have to be next year's gull resolution!
A run down the coast this morning produced three Yellow-legged Gulls (one adult and two 3rd calendar year birds), but little else of note.

A few photos of Yellow-legged Gulls in Guernsey

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Less wind = less gulls

It is amazing at how a relatively small drop in the wind speed (from Force 6-7 to Force 4-5) appears to have taken a lot of gulls back out to sea. There were still c 150 Great Black-backed Gulls along the west coast this morning, but this is less than half the birds seen while the wind was blowing harder. The same was also true this morning with Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The highlights of the session were nine cr Great Black-backed Gulls (four French, four Guernsey and one Jersey), and a 3rd calendar year Yellow-legged Gull.
3rd calendar year Yellow-legged Gull - Vazon Beach

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Another Fine Run Down the Coast!

A post-dawn run down the coast this morning resulted in two Dutch LBBGs (the first time two of Rolan-Jan’s birds have been seen on the same day in Guernsey) and the Norwegian LBBG from yesterday being spotted, along with 11 cr GBBGs (five local, four French (two Le Havre and two Chausey Islands) and two Portland, Dorset, England. The Dutch birds were the regular autumn migrant Orange 9V and a 2nd year immature Orange Y7. There is a very nice account of the ringing of the Norwegian LBBG on the excellent blog of the Bergen Gull Ringers  on
One adult Yellow-legged Gull was on L’Erée Beach.
 LBBG Black JA6V L'Erée Beach
  LBBG Orange Y7 L'Erée Beach
 GBBG White P:72A Portelet Beach
Gulls on Portelet Beach

Monday, September 24, 2012

The First Storm of Autumn Brings rewards!

On Sunday the first storm of the autumn passed through Guernsey with rain all day and very strong winds overnight. With commitments in the early morning it was late afternoon on Monday by the time I could take a very quick run down the west coast. I've learnt now that storms tend to drive GBBGs in particular onto Guernsey's west coast. This gull is far more pelagic in  nature than most people it takes a good blow to drive them to the shelter of land! There was a significant increase in GBBGs along the coast - 300+ birds. Unfortunately over half were on L'Erée Aerodrome where legs were hidden by long grass. However...fortune was with me...and amongst the other half of the birds I found along the coast there were six foreign-ringed birds - one from Portland Harbour, Dorset, England (White P:43A), one from Looe island, Cornwall, England (L:AX6) and four from Seine-Maritime, France (Blue 93D, Blue 95D, Black 53G and Black 39L).
Bird of the day, however, was a juvenile intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull (Black JA6V) ringed on 12 July 2012 at Tranvagen, Agotnes, Fjell, Hordaland, Norway by the Bergen Gull Ringing Team.
 LBBG Black JA6V
 Gulls on L'Erée Aerodrome
 GBBG White L:AX6 (from Looe Island, Cornwall)

 GBBG White P:43A (from Portland, Dorset)
GBBG Black 39L (from Seine-Maritime)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

LBBG Juvenile from Gloucester, England

Today's gulling highlight was not from the Island's west coast, where the LBBG flocks seemed rather unchanged from recent days. Instead "bird of the day" was LBBG Black A+N. This bird had been ringed as a chick by Peter Rock in Gloucester, England in June 2012, and seen three days ago at Crabby Bay, Alderney by James Allison (the AWT 2012 Ecologist). It was on Pembroke Beach early today (in one of the photos below the gull is present in the small flock in the foreground, while Alderney can be seen in the background.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welsh LBBG Returns to L'Eree

The LBBG flock at L'Eree appears to have seen little movement in recent days, with 45 cr readings being taken - all local birds except Orange 9V from The Netherlands and a British-metal ringed adult - London GN85760 - a bird ringed as a chick on Skomer Island, Dyfed, Wales in July 2005, and seen on passage through Guernsey on L'Eree Beach on 22 September 2010 (another example of site fidelity by LBBGs on migration). Other highlights included an adult Yellow-legged Gull and two 2nd calendar year GBBGs from Chausey islands, France (Green K.63 and K.72). Finally Mike Cunningham recorded and photographed (very nicely) Black-headed Gull yellow EHSL (from Antwerp) at Vazon this morning.
 Black-headed Gull (c) Mike Cunningham