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, November 25, 2013

Guernsey Gulls at Malaga, Spain

Fortunately Salva Garcia has been visiting the pre-roost flock of Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Malaga Port, Spain for many winters, and he regularly reports Guernsey colour-ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls from this site. In 2011 I was fortunate enough to join Salva and Gabriel Martin on one of their weekend visits to the port. It was a memorable experience! What makes this site so dramatic is the high concentration of LBBGs in a relatively confined area. The gulls do not roost in the harbour, but gather from mid-late afternoon before flying out to sea to roost. This weekend Salva sent the photo below, along with another seven records of Guernsey cr LBBGs - my thanks to Salva for all his hard work in the area!
 LBBGs at Malaga Port (c) Salva Garcia
LBBG White 7.Z4 (from Sark) at Malaga 24 November 2013 (c) Salva Garcia

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Very Nice Gull Catch

With the weather turning that little bit colder, Chris, Phil and I took a very nice catch of 126 Herring Gulls in the garden this morning. Just as last year, our single November catch was comprised very largely of 1st Winter birds (60%), with only 20% being adult birds. What is perhaps more surprising is the very low retrap rate of  only 8%...and indication of just how many Herring Gulls are attracted to Guernsey in winter probably from South-Western England and North-Western France.
Herring Gull W1JC4

Saturday, November 23, 2013

10,000 TO 0 LBBGs in a Week!

What a  difference a few days and 1,200 km distance make. At Eirol Landfill, Aveiro, Portugal last week I saw 10,000 LBBGs (including 25 Guernsey colour-ringed birds). Today back home in Guernsey at Chouet landfill I recorded (as expected) precisely zero! Over the six winters I've been studying gulls on Guernsey, LBBGs remain scarce in winter with perhaps only 10-20 birds on the Island on any winter's day. 
Despite this lack of  my favourite gull, Chouet landfill was still excellent this morning. I had a thoroughly enjoyable two hour session recording just over 200 of our locally cr Herring Gulls, along with 18 GBBGs (which included three French birds (two Manche and one Seine-Maritime), one Cornish bird (Looe Island) and one Norwegian (Vest-Agder).

 Gulls at Chouet Landfill
 GBBG Green M79 - from Iles St Marcouf, Manche, France
GBBG White L:BC4 from Looe Island, Cornwall

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

LBBG Black 2AS0

With so many gull colour ring reports coming in every week now, I rarely pick out individual birds for mention in this blog, but I'll make an exception for Black 2AS0. Ringed as a chick on Burhou, Alderney in July 2012, this gull spent its first winter around Madrid, Spain (being recorded several times from landfill sites there from 24 February to 14 April 2013). It was not recorded all summer, but then spent the autumn on  Guernsey's west coast (where I recorded in it from 05 September to 01 November). Only nine days later I caught up with this gull again 1,100 km away on Meira Beach, Coimbra, Portugal. This was not the only gull I had been watching in Guernsey during the late autumn, which I saw in Portugal on my recent trip...but there is something truly awesome following the spectacular lives of such inexperienced birds as they try to survive the most difficult and dangerous years of their lives.
 LBBG B2AS0 Burhou July 2012
 LBBG B2AS0 Colmenar Viejo Landfill, Madrid 24 Feb 2013 (c) Delphin González
 LBBG B2AS0 Pinto Landfill, Madrid 14 April 2013  (c) Delphin González
LBBG B2AS0 15 March 2013 Pinto Landfill, Madrid - (c) Javier Marchamalo

Friday, November 15, 2013

Quick Trip to Northern Portugal

I've just come back from an amazing five day trip to Northern Portugal, covering many sites along the coast from Matosinhos to Figueira da Foz. While there it was very good to meet Malcolm and Vera Millais, Peter Rock,  Inocencio Oliveira and Teresa Rocha. This area of Iberia is clearly of huge importance to wintering Lesser Black-backed Gulls from the Channel Islands. Over the five days I visited Matosinhos Beach and Fish Port, Praia da Mira, Figueria da Foz (beaches and fish port), Aveiro Flats, Gafanha da Nazaré Fish Port, Vagueria and the landfills at Vil de Matos and Eirol. I took just over 250 colour ringed gull observations, of which 90 were LBBGs from Guernsey/Alderney/Sark. My sincere thanks to all the above and also to Tim Van Nus who helped in lots of ways to enable such a successful and really enjoyable quick trip!

 Malcolm at Matosinhos Fish POrt

 Gulls on Matosinhos Beach

 Gulls on Figueira da Foz Beach
 Peter at Vil de Mata Landfill
 Gulls at Praia de Mira
 Figueira da Foz

 Fishing boat returning to Gafanha da Nazaré

 Eirol Landfill

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Gull and its Shadow

I was recently sent this marvellous photo of a 1st winter Herring Gull in flight in Jersey, taken by Tim Ransom. It is such a lovely photo...especially the shadow on the sand that I asked to share it on the the blog.
(c) Tim Ransom

Still Some LBBGs Around

I always regard November and December as the "winter" months for LBBGs in Guernsey, because the first adults which have wintered in France and Iberia have already returned by mid-January. Even my flock of late West Coast "regulars" has now reduced to a handful of colour-ringed birds. Black 9V6 being one of the last to leave. It was still on the West Coast on 26 October, but just four days later Pepe Vidal recorded it at Meirás Beach, A Coruna, N W Spain. I was therefore surprised this morning to record 50+ LBBGs along the coast, including six of our locally colour-ringed birds and Black 2TF ringed as a chick on Flat Holm, Cardiff, Wales. The weather is still mild, but it will be very interesting to see how quickly this number reduces further.

LBBG Black 2TF ringed Flat Holm, Wales