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.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

200 Gull Colour Ring Reads in Chouet This Morning

With the weather still four or five degrees C below seasonal norms, it was another chilly morning at Chouet Landfill, but the gulls were both  numerous and very active feeding today. Apart from single French and English GBBGs (both familiar birds in Guernsey), every one of the 216 colour ringed gulls observed was locally ringed. Yet again the landfill staff were most helpful in enabling me to get a very good location to record rings, and it was marvellous to once admire the flight skills of the gulls at close quarters.

Gulls at Chouet Landfill 30 March 2013 (c) PKV

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Hat-trick of Foreign-ringed LBBGs at Chouet

In very cold and grey weather at Chouet this morning, three foreign-ringed LBBGs were observed. Two were from Suffolk, England (Mike Marsh's project) - Red ALA.U and Red B.UBL. This is really quite unusual for most British-ringed LBBGs seen in Guernsey have come from the Western half of Britain. Mike Marsh informed me that LBBGs are slow to return to their breeding sites in Suffolk this spring, and he also sent me a photo taken at the Orfordness colony area last Sunday (there's no need for any more words!).
Orfordness, Suffolk last Sunday - (c) Mike Marsh
The third bird was Blue J2VP - a gull ringed as a chick in Vest-Agder, southern Norway in 2008, but which already has an extensive life history of sightings including records in Norway, Denmark, Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
 LBBG Red B.UBL at Chouet

 LBBG Red ALA.U at Chouet
Gulls on Chouet Landfill Beach

Sunday, March 24, 2013

German LBBG at Chouet and a Small Gull Catch

After all the work that Chris, Phil and I have put in recently to try to keep ticking over colour ringing gulls, it was rewarding on Saturday to take even a small catch of 14 gulls (13 Herring and one GBBG). It was a very modest catch...but enough to help us keep the faith!
While at the landfill we also recorded lots of colour ringed gulls - I mainly focused again on the returning LBBGs, with another 100 or so rings read. Amongst the local birds was a German ringed LBBG (only the 3rd German bird I've recorded in Guernsey in the past five years)!

Gulls at Chouet on Saturday 22 March 2013 (c) PKV

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Benefits of a Rainy Day

Although viewing conditions aren't great in the rain, the big advantage is that there are many fewer dog walkers on the beaches, so the birds are far less disturbed. That didn't stop a couple of scramble motor bikes driving through the gull flock on one beach....but with some patience a very good tally of colour ring readings were taken in a few hours - Lesser Black-backed Gull (141), Herring Gull (92) and Great Black-backed Gull (four).

Gulls on Chouet Beach (unfortunately there is no "photo-editor" in the field to brighten up the view to make ring reading easier!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Two Gulls in their 20th Years!

At Chouet landfill Beach this morning I read two metal rings - Lesser Black-backed Gull  E5629 and Great Black-backed Gull E5508. I had ringed both gulls as chicks in June 1993 (the former on Sark and the latter on Herm). It was quite a coincidence that both these old gulls were in their 20th years - hopefully they've raised a good number of chicks between them in the intervening years!

Another British LBBG at Chouet, amidst strong return passage of Gulls

The highlight of a couple of hours in rainy conditions at Chouet this morning was LBBG Black W8ZC , which is a bird ringed by Dave Sowter at Walney Island, Lancashire. More than 130 colour rings were recorded on LBBGs yesterday morning and another 60 today, so the arrivals remain very strong. The Norwegian Great Black-backed Gull (Black JP719) ringed as a chick in Vest-Agder last summer is still being seen at Chouet (yesterday and today). Also today Yellow-legged Gull White 1CA9 (ringed at Chouet in 2011) was back on the beach at Chouet.
 LBBG Black W8ZC at Chouet (c) PKV
 GBBG Black JP719 ta Chouet (c) PKV

Gulls on Chouet Landfill Beach 20 March 2013 (c) PKV

Sunday, March 17, 2013

English Herring Gull

A quick, but effective, early morning session at the beaches on the north coast this morning resulted in another 59 ring reads on Lesser Black-backed Gulls. The main surprise today was the return of Herring Gull Orange AV1.T - which was ringed as a 1st year on 22/10/2011 at Rainham Landfill, Greater London by the North Thames Gull Group. I first saw this gull in Guernsey on 03 and 17 November, but it has not been seen here again until this morning.

Herring Gull Orange AV1.T at Chouet Landfill Beach - 17/03/2013 (c) PKV

Friday, March 15, 2013

Double Century of LBBG Sightings at Chouet

Despite the cold and windy weather the LBBGs have been pouring back into Guernsey these past few days. This is evidenced by the fact that during the past three mornings I've recorded 211 observations of cr LBBGs at Chouet. Of course some are repeat sightings...but the total includes many birds seen for the first time this spring.
After a month or so of quite difficult observation conditions at the landfill, it is coming good at just the right time, with some incredibly close and enjoyable views of the gulls as they feed. A very big thank you to the landfill staff who help me enormously with the gull studies. Without their fantastic co-operation we would simply not be getting the quality data that is building almost by the day!

Gulls at Chouet landfill these past three days (c) PKV

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Great Cormorant to Somerset, England

When I got back from this morning's unsuccessful attempt to ring gulls at Chouet with Chris, I picked up an -e-mail from Chris Gladman reporting only our 2nd colour-ringed Great Cormorant sighting outside the Islands. This bird was seen and photographed at Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor National Park, England on 13 March 2013. It had been ringed as a chick in Herm on 2nd May 2012.

 Great Cormorant Black BK at Wimbleball Lake 13 March 2013 (c) Chris Gladman
Movement of Great Cormorant Black BK