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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Arrival Dates for Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Guernsey in 2010

Throughout the late autumn and winter 2009/10 I have checked Guernsey's north and west coasts for Lesser Black-backed Gulls at least twice each week. Over this period maximum counts were around half a dozen gulls on each coastline - and none was colour ringed. It is reasonable to assume that every one of my colour ringed adults and young from 2009 left Guernsey for the winter.

I have made considerable efforts this year to try to record as many arrival dates for the returning Lesser Black-backed Gulls as possible with near daily visits (albeit sometimes very brief!) to the Chouet area from the 3rd week in January. The following are the first dates of each returning colour ringed gull - and the countries they have been recorded in over the autumn/winter 2009/10. As expected all records refer to adult gulls (except 5.Z7...which is the first of my 2nd Winter colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls to return to the islands). Up until the end of February 29 "Guernsey" colour ringed gulls had returned.

15 January 3.T8

21 January 6.Z8

25 January 1.T6

                  8.Z0 Portugal and France

01 February 9.Z5

08 February 0.Z6

10 February 0.U2

17 February 3.V2

19 February 2.T6

                     7S6 Spain and Portugal

                     5.Z7 Spain and Portugal (2nd winter)



20 February 6.T8



21 February 8.Z3

23 February 0.T9 Portugal

                    9.T9 Spain

                    5.T0 France


24 February 1.T2


25 February 8.Z8 France

26 February 7.T9 Portugal

27 February 2.T1


                    4.Z1 Spain

                    7S2 France

In addition four adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls carrying only Jersey metal rings have been identified - but these are excluded from the summary above as metal rings are very difficult to read in the field, and it is most unlikely that I have read these metal rings on the first occasion that I saw the individual gulls back in Guernsey.

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