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.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Alderney Colour Ringed Lesser Black-backed Gull seen again in The Netherlands

I received very exciting news today from Herman Bouman of Lesser Black-backed Gull Black 0.S7 being seen in Barneveld, Gelderland, The Netherlands on 28 June 2011. This bird was ringed as a chick on Burhou, Alderney on 10 July 2009, and was seen on 23 September 2010 at Westkepelle, Zeeland, The Netherlands by Theo Muusse. Over the intervening winter (14/11/10) it was seen at Pinto Landfill, Madrid, Spain by Miguel Juan. This is my only Lesser Black-backed Gull chick to date to be reported from The Netherlands, and it is very interesting that this bird appears to be faithful to The Netherlands in summer - raising the possibility that it will recruit into one of the Dutch colonies when it reaches breeding age in 2013 or 2014. I only hope the bird continues to survive, be seen and be reported so that we may be able to confirm this suspicion!
LBBG Black 0.S7 Westkapelle, The Netherlands - 23/09/10 (c) Theo Muusse
LBBG Black 0.S7 Barneveld, Gelderland, The Netherlands 28/06/11 - (c) Herman Bouman

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Gull Breeding Season on Jethou

Michelle Hooper, Sophie Veron and I went over to Jethou Island on Monday to complete the 2011 seabird monitoring there. The weather was perfect with only a gentle breeze and warm but cloudy conditions. We arrived shortly before low tide, and so had perfect conditions for the seabird work. This trip was geared around monitoring the gulls and colour ringing chicks. It was very successful with a total of 51 Herring Gulls and nine Great Black-backed Gulls being ringed (all colour ringed except one Herring Gull). We also found one large Oystercatcher chick. I was particularly pleased to see the Herring Gulls being so successful on Jethou, as in most of the other colonies I have been to in the Bailiwick this year numbers appeared to me to be rather thin with poor to modest success.
Grande Fauconniere
House Beach 
Oystercatcher chick
PKV ringing Herring Gull 0CR8 
Sophie with Herring Gull 5CR0 
Great Black-backed Gulls Yellow 0.XX1 and 0.XX2
GBBG Yellow 0.XX6
Herring Gull 0CR7

Sunday, June 26, 2011

20 Year Old Great Black-backed Gull

Summer arrived in style today, with clear blue skies (after early morning mist) and very warm temperatures. Courtesy of Dave Perrio - Chris Mourant, Michelle Hooper and I made our second and final seabird monitoring trip of 2011 to The Humps north of Herm. Special permission is required to land on these islets during the seabird breeding season.
In the limited time available we were able to land briefly on Longue Pierre and Godin - where we were able to confirm the early and successful breeding season for European Shag and Great Cormorant. Although there were a few youngsters still in the nest (and six Shag were ringed) the vast majority of the birds had already fledged. It was also very pleasing to see that the Common Guillemot have been successful so far. We did not approach the breeding boulders as there were many adults present, and we could hear chicks communicating with the adults - but we would estimate 30+ pairs on Longue Pierre and 10+ on Godin - many of which had chicks.
For me the highlight was the ten Great Black-backed Gull chicks colour ringed. One tinge of sadness was the discovery of a dead GBBG, which carried a metal ring E4778. I later learnt that this gull had been ringed by me as a chick on this very islet in June 1991 - making the gull 20+ when it died. I can but hope that this old gull managed to breed successfully over many years - passing its genes to many young gulls over the 15 or so breeding seasons that it would have had. It is very interesting too that it was clearly breeding on its natal islet - even though it is tiny.
Longue Pierre 
Herm from Godin 
Chris and Mish ringing GBBG Yellow 0.VV2 Longue Pierre
GBBG Yellow 0.VV1 Longue Pierre

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Adult Common Gull at Chouet in June!

Quite what an adult Common Gull was doing at Chouet Landfill Beach this morning is a bit of a mystery. This species does not breed in the Channel Islands, and it is not at all common even in winter! Apart from that it was a pretty ordinary session early this morning with 69 colour ring readings of my Lesser Black-backed Gulls and seven Great Black-backed Gulls.
Adult Common Gull CLB - 25 June 2011 - PKV
LBBG Jersey E5527 Pembroke 25 June 2011 - originally rnged by PKV on 30 June 1993 on Sark - PKV

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lesser Black-backed Gull Black 6.F5 Back to Guernsey in its 1st Summer

It is becoming evident that the vast majority of Guernsey Lesser Black-backed Gulls spend their first summer well south of their natal areas, although there are some exceptions - such as LBBG Black 6.F5 seen this morning at Chouet landfill Beach. This gull was ringed as a chick on Burhou, Alderney in July 2010. Unfortunately there have been no reports of this bird before today.
Although I managed to record  103 of my LBBGs at Chouet and Pembroke Beach this morning, the low tide meant that they were very distant for photography.
Pembroke Beach 24 June 2011 - PKV
LBBG Black 6.F5 Chouet Landfill Beach 24 June 2011 - PKV

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another Hour at Chouet Before I'm Driven Away by Cold NW Wind!

How can the wind be so cool in mid-summer?! It was blowing hard from the north west this morning, and with no coat (it is summer!) I soon got so cold that my fingers went numb. However...not before I'd recorded another 69 of my cr Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chouet Lures Me Back!

Another hour at Chouet Landfill Beach this morning gave 79 cr reads (all but six) on my Lesser Black-backed Gulls. For most of the time the light was as dull as yesterday, but there were a few moments when the sunshine burst through the clouds. It was another highly enjoyable watch.

Back at Chouet

After what seemed like an age I managed to get out to Chouet Landfill Beach for 90 minutes before work yesterday. It was both peaceful and relaxing to be scoping through the gull flocks there picking out colour ringed (cr) gulls. I concentrated on Lesser Black-backed Gulls, reading 72 of my rings, but eight ring reads on Great Black-backed Gulls was also very good. The latter included the full code on a British-ringed GBBG - London MA27001. Unfortunately it was heavily overcast, so conditions for photography were difficult. 
Chouet Landfill Beach 21 June 2011 PKV 
GBBG London MA27001 - PKV