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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lithuanian Black-headed Gull in Alderney

The reason my blog has been quiet for a week is  because I was in Alderney on our very enjoyable, relaxing family holiday.  Alderney is such a lovely island to visit, with its wild walks and rugged coastline.

I was not birding, although  I did take the opportunity to check out Crabby and Braye Bays on several days to look for my colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls from Burhou. I was very pleased to see one adult ringed on Burhou in the summer of 2008, 15 from the summer of 2009 and 19 from 2010 - along with a dozen of this year's fledged juveniles. I also saw Blue AUC - an adult ringed in April 2007 at Gloucester landfill, England - but this is probably a bird which nests on Burhou.

The biggest surprise of the week was an adult Black-headed Gull carrying a Lithuanian colour ring. This bird - Black P547 was seen on Crabby Bay, Alderney on 28 August. It had been ringed at Dumpiai (rubbish dump), Klaipėda, Lietuva / Lithuania as a 3rd+ calendar year male on 01 April 2010 by Vytautas Pareigis and Frank Majoor.
Black-headed Gull Black P547 Crabby Bay, Alderney 28 August 2010 - PKV
Crabby Bay, Alderney - 28 August 2010 - PKV

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Lesser Black-backed Gull to Spain and a Great Black-backed Gull from France

LBBG Black 0.K4 on Esmelle Beach, Spain 22 August 2010 - Antonio Gutierrez
LBBG Black 0.K4 when ringed as an adult male on 02 May 2010 - Ty Coed, Vale Marais, Guernsey - PKV
LBBG Black 0.K4 Chouet Landfill Beach - 06 August 2010 - PKV
Yesterday Antonio Gutierrez and Paco Veiga saw Lesser Black-backed Gull Black 0.K4 at Esmelle Beach, A Coruna, Spain.

Today at Chouet Landfill Beach there was a large number of Herring Gulls (2,000+), 60+ Great Black-backed Gulls and c 50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Amongst the Great Black-backed Gulls was Green H.92 a juvenile ringed by Seb Provost on the Chausey Islands, Manche, France this summer.

GBBG Green H.92 from Chausey Islands, France (Seb Provost) - Chouet Landfill Beach - PKV
GBBG Yellow 0.CC1 Chouet Landfill Beach 23 August 2010 - PKV
GBBG Yellow 0.CC1 Jethou 09 June 10 - PKV
GBBG Yellow 0.CC0 23 August 10 Chouet Landfill -PKV
GBBG Yellow 0.CC0 Jethou 09 June 10 - PKV

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More Lesser Black-backed Gull movements (north)

LBBG White 4.Z0 Portland Bill, Dorset - Martin Cade
In contrast to the reports in recent days of adult Guernsey colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls being seen in Spain, there were two sightings yesterday of adults moving north. One of these (White 4.Z0) was ringed on Burhou, Alderney as a breeding adult in June 2008, and seen at Chouet, Guernsey on 10 and 12 March 2010. It was reported yesterday by Martin Cade at Portland Bill, Dorset, England.

The other was Black 3.F1, which was seen by Andy Turner at Ardley Quarry (landfill), Oxfordshire, England. Interestingly this bird could well have been handled by Andy himself, as it was ringed on 28 May 2010 at Chouet Landfill, as part of the cannon netting operation run with Paul Roper and Members of the North Thames Gull Group (including Andy!).

Today a quick tour of the beaches at the northern tip of Guernsey revealed 17 of my colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls - including Black 5.X4 - a chick from Burhou this summer.
LBBG Black 5.X4 - Pembroke - PKV
There were also a few of my Great Black-backed Gull juveniles too - including the very regular Yellow 0.JJ7 and Yellow 0.KK2
GBBG Yellow 0.JJ7 as a chick on Herm...and then on Pembroke, Guernsey - 22 August - PKV
GBBG Yellow 0.KK2 when ringed as a chick on Herm 27 June 10 and at Pembroke 22 August 10 - PKV

New Gull Blog for SW Netherlands

LBBG Yellow AG - one of Roland-Jan's colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls from Moerdijk, Noord-Brabant, The Netherlands - seen at Chouet in April 2010 - PKV

Roland-Jan Buijs, who is a professional ecologist running one of the largest gull colour ringing projects in Europe, has now begun what is going to be a very interesting and informative blog on his research projects on the large gulls breeding in SW Netherlands.

Take a look at

Friday, August 20, 2010

Two very quick Lesser Black-backed Gull movements to NW Spain

Today's highlight has been two reports (one from Antonio Gutierrez and one from Paco Veiga) of Lesser Black-backed Gulls which  have been in quite a hurry to get to Spain. Both birds were ringed at Chouet Landfill - White 9.T6 (in June 2009) and Black 1.V9 in May 2010. Both birds were amongst up to 1,000 gulls on Esmelle Beach, Ferrol, A Coruna. White 9.T6 was last seen in Guernsey seven days earlier, while Black 1.V9 was still here only five days ago! White 9.T6 was seen in Portugal last September (Paulo Marques), so it is very likely that this gull will continue further south this winter too.
LBBG White 9.T6 Chouet Landfill 12 August 2010 - PKV
LBBG Black 1.V9 Esmelle Beach, A Coruna, Spain 20 August 2010 - Antonio Gutierrez

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the move!

LBBG Black 3.F8 Odiel, Huelva Spain - Juan Sagardia
LBBG Black 3.F8 Chouet, Guernsey 31 July 10 - PKV 
LBBG Black 0.A0 Frouxeira - Antonio Gutierrez 
Black 0.A0 Burhou, Alderney 10 July 2009 - PKV 
LBBG Black 0.X5 Cadiz, Spain - Juan Sagardia 
LBBG Black 0.X5 Burhou 10 July 2009 - PKV 
LBBG Black 4.A0 Frouxeira - Antonio Gutierrez 
LBBG Black 4.A0 Burhou 13 June 2010 - Catherine Veron 
LBBG Black 2.X1 Frouxeira - Antonio Gutierrez
It is striking now how the large flocks of (700+) adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Chouet at the start of the month have now dwindled to around only 100 birds. Many of the birds, which I have come to recognise and know from their colour rings over the past two summers have now begun their migrations. To some extent the hole left by these birds is being filled by a smaller number of juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls, which includes birds fledged from the colonies on Sark and Burhou, Alderney in the Channel Islands. Further evidence that even the juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls are migrating was the sighting of Blue J+G – another bird from Peter Rock’s ringing projects in SW England.

While I shall miss the sight of large flocks of adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Guernsey for the next four-five months, it is very exciting to be receiving reports already that several of these birds have arrived in NW Spain and even SW Spain. Antonio Gutierrez is now finding some “Guernsey” colour-ringed gulls on virtually a daily basis on the beaches and lagoons of A Coruna, NW Spain, while Juan Sagardia has reported an adult and a 2nd calendar year bird from Cadiz in southern Spain. I last saw the adult (Black 3.F8) only six days earlier in Guernsey!

Antonio has also reported the first Guernsey juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull to be seen outside the Channel Islands. Black 4.H4 was seen and photographed on Meiras Beach, Valdovino, A Coruna on 15 August.
LBBG Black 4.H4 meiras Beach - Antonio Gutierrez

Monday, August 16, 2010

Juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull from Bath, England at Chouet

The highlight at Chouet this morning was a juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull (Blue A+W) ringed by Peter Rock in Bath city, England on 04 July 2010.
Another two juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls ringed as chicks on Burhou, Alderney in early July 2010 were also seen at Chouet Beach this morning.

Three "Guernsey" Lesser Black-backed Gulls see today in NW Spain

Great news in from Antonio Gutierrez, who saw three "Guernsey" Lesser Black-backed Gulls at A Coruna, NW Spain yesterday. This included the first sighting away from the Channel Islands of one of this year's juveniles - Black 4.H4 (raised in one of the colonies on Sark). The other birds were Black 2.K2 an adult ringed at Chouet Landfill in May 2010, and White 8.U9 a breeding adult ringed on Burhou in June 2009, and recorded again on Burhou in May 2010 (Jen Stockdale) - having been seen in September 2009 in Portugal (Paulo Marques).
LBBG Black 4.H4 Meiras Beach, Valdovino, A Coruna, Spain 15 August 2010 - Antonio Gutierrez
LBBG Black 2.K2 Frouxeira Lagoon, Valdovino, A Coruna, Spain - 15 August 2010 - Antonio Gutierrez
LBBG White 8.U9  Frouxeira Lagoon, Valdovino, A Coruna, Spain - 15 August 2010 - Antonio Gutierrez

LBBG White 8.U9 - Burhou, Alderney - June 2009 - PKV
I also received news today of the Polish-ringed Black-headed Gull (White TARM) seen on 14 and 15 August at Bellegreve Bay, Guernsey. It had been ringed by Tomasz Iciek at Przykona Reservoir, Radyczyny, Turek, Poland as a nesting adult on 05 June 2010.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My first colour ringed Black-headed Gull in Guernsey - from Poland!

It has taken me a long time to find a colour ringed Black-headed Gull in Guernsey, but it finally happened today. Not a bad birthday present! It was also a good reward for perservering with the gull recording in the rain today. The Black-headed Gull White TARM (from Poland) was seen at Bellegreve Bay (in a flock of 32 B-h Gulls), along with five Mediterranean Gulls (which included White 3E90 - the regular autumn visitor from Belgium).

Friday, August 13, 2010

Roland-Jan Buijs at Chouet Landfill - PKV
This past week it has been very nice to welcome Roland-Jan Buijs, and his family, to Guernsey. Roland-Jan is enjoying a holiday in the island, but is also managing to fit in some colour ring reading along the way. It has been particularly helpful for me to meet up with Roland-Jan, who is a much more experienced gull ringer and researcher, and I have already learnt a lot more about gull research from my conversations with Roland-Jan.

Now all that remains is to see if we can find one of Roland’s Lesser Black-backed Gulls before he goes home to The Netherlands!
Pembroke Beach - PKV
Although there were more than 500 gulls on Pembroke and Chouet Beaches this morning, the vast majority were local Herring Gulls. One new juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull (ringed on Sark) and juvenile Herring Gulls (ringed on Sark, Jethou and Alderney) were observed. It was also very nice to see on Pembroke Beach my first colour ringed 2010 juvenile Great Black-backed Gull (Green J.27) from Seb Provost’s project based in the Chausey Islands, Manche, France.
LBBG Black 4.H2 Chouet Beach - PKV
GBBG Green J.27 Pembroke - PKV

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The gulls are getting very busy!

LBBG juvenile Black 4.L1 Chouet - PKV
Suddenly it has got very busy! There has been a marked exodus of many adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls from Guernsey - and now they are beginning to turn up in north-west Spain. Antonio Gutierrez reported two adults from Esmelle Beach and Frouxeira lagoon, A Coruna, Spain today, while Paco Veiga had another on Esmelle. Manuel Enrique Carballal del Valle has also reported two from Maresma de Carregal, Corrubedo, Galicia, Spain, while Juan Cabeza has seen another at Boca do Río , Porto do Son , A Coruña, Spain. Also today Xabi Varela has sent in a report of a LBBG at Baldaio Lagoon, A Coruna, Spain. Finally John Sanders has recorded another adult at the landfill in Gloucester, England.

LBBG White 5.T5 at Esmelle, Spain - Antonio Gutierrez
LBBG White 5.T5 at Quarteira, Algarve, Portugal - October 2009 - Michael Davis
In addition there have been a very nice series of reports of Herrng Gulls, with one e-mail from Frédéric Vaidie giving details of six Guernsey-ringed Herring Gulls at Lingreville, Manche, France, while François Leclerc reported one of our Lesser Black-backed Gulls from Lion-sur-Mer, Calvados, France, followed very soon afterwards by Herring Gull White 1.AV5.
Perhaps the biggest surprise with the Herring Guls was the sighting of White 6.AL9 at Gloucester landfill, England by John Sanders on 11/08/10. This bird was ringed as a chick on Jethou on 22/06/10.

Herring Gull White 6.AX9 - Gloucester Landfill - John Sanders
Meanwhile at Chouet Landfill today there were still 39 cr Lesser Black-backed Gulls, amongst 300+ birds present. One of these birds - Red 9TF - had been ringed as a chick by Brain Bailey at Flat Holm, Wales in July 2005, and has since been recorded wintering in Spain. It was back breeding on Flat Holm this summer.
LBBG Red 9TF - Chouet Landfill - PKV