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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Another Superb Week Ringing Gulls at Chouet Landfill!

This year’s gull cannon netting week at Chouet Landfill took place between 11 and 16 May. With the largest Team so far in the seven year history of “Gull Week” the small core Guernsey Team was joined by members from the North Thames Gull Group and the West Cornwall Ringing Group, as well as ringers from Alderney and Jersey. Led as ever by Paul Roper from NTGG we had a somewhat frustrating start to the week, with just one catch of almost 200 gulls on the first day. Day Two began in similar vein, until we moved the catch site closer to the tipping face...then we were back in business!

Paul rapidly made up for lost time, with four catches on one of the days and several of three; and with only one half day lost to rain we managed to catch more than 1,400 gulls during the week, of which around 1,300 were new (once again indicating the large turnover of gulls at Chouet!).

Lesser Black-backed Gulls were reduced in numbers this year – probably due in part to there being less migrant birds at the site. Herring Gulls were also less numerous than usual early in the week, but this may very well have been because many fields in the south of the island were being ploughed during this week. As a result many gulls were feeding on the more natural food available in the fields rather than the less appetising fare at the landfill! We also managed to ring 12 Great Black-backed Gulls and a single Yellow-legged Gull.

Once again I am indebted to Paul Roper and the ringers involved, as well as the landfill management and staff who were magnificent in their tireless efforts to ensure that we caught as many gulls as possible!


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