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, August 29, 2011

Cormorants from France

At St Saviour's Reservoir today I saw a Great CormorantWhite CI10 (red ring also) , which had been ringed on 15 May 2010 on the Chausey Islands, Manche, France (Gérard Debout). The bird has been seen several times in Guernsey  since Tony Bisson first saw it at St Saviour's Reservoir in October 2010 - most recently by Vic Froome on 20 August 2011 (when he recorded a 2nd bird from this very same cr project).

The Guernsey Seabird Team is planning to begin a new ringing project on this species in the islands next year. Our rings will be black with a double alpha code.
Great Cormorant CI10 (red) St Saviour's Reservoir - PKV

Sunday, August 28, 2011

English Black-headed Gull and Belgian Mediterranean Gull relocated in Guernsey

I could only check about 150 of the 500 Lesser Black-backed Gulls along the west coast today, as the largest flock was resting in the long grass at L'Eree Aerodrome. The highlights of the morning were the relocation of Black-headed Gull White 21J0 (from Hosehill Lake, Berkshire, England - first seen in Guernsey at Vazon on 17 July 2011), and the regular Mediterranean Gull from Belgium (White 3E90).
Black-headed Gull White 21J0 Vazon 28 August 2011 - PKV
Black-headed Gull White 21J0 Vazon 17 July 2011 - PKV

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A new record set for "Guernsey" LBBGs in Spain!

A new record was set today by avid gull watcher Antonio Gutierrez in NW Spain! He recorded (and photographed) six "Guernsey Gulls" on the same beach in Spain (Pantín near Valdovino in A Coruna) at the same time...I am really stunned that this is possible! This beach is over 800 km from Guernsey! When I started the Lesser Black-backed Gull colour ringing project I never imagined that such results could be obtained! One of these gulls was also the 2,000th LBBG sighting in the months of July and August 2011. Of course most were taken here in Guernsey and Alderney before the birds migrated...but there is a very nice set of records from Spain, with some in France, a few in England and the first adults are also now being sighted in Portugal.

GBBGs from France

Following yesterday's success with colour ringed LBBGs, it was the turn of GBBGs today - with four French birds on Guernsey's west coast. Three of these were from Seb Provost's project based on the Chausey islands, Manche (Green, B.17 (a 2008 chick last seen in Guernsey in October 2010), and Green H.12 and Green H.23 both 2010 chicks seen for the 1st time in Guernsey). There was also one GBBG from Gilles Le Guillou's project based at Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, but this was on the L'Eree Aerodrome where the grass is still too long to be able to read full rings. It was -3G (a 2010 chick). Hopefully I'll relocate this bird in the next few days.
Gulls on L'Eree Aerodrome - PKV 
GBBG Green H.23 Vazon Beach - PKV

Friday, August 26, 2011

LBBGs from Wales and England

About this time of year the behaviour of the LBBGs left on Guernsey changes and few seem to visit Chouet Landfill. As a result the northern beaches of Chouet and Pembroke attract relatively few LBBGs. Instead they seem to flock on the west coast (particularly Vazon, Perelle and L’Eree) - and if I time a visit well in relation to the tide (and am lucky that the beaches haven't been disturbed) this always proves to be an interesting time for as well as containing the local LBBGs which are tardy in migrating (all my birds still seem to leave the island from late October to early January), the flock clearly attracts migrant LBBGs. Today amongst 60 LBBGs at Vazon there was a juvenile bird (White 4WF) ringed on 03/07/2011 on Flat Holm Island in the Bristol Channel, Wales (Viola Ross-Smith) and an adult (Black R2LU) from the Ribble Estuary, Lancashire, England (David Sowter).
LBBG Black R2LU Vazon - PKV 
LBBG White 4WF Vazon - PKV 
Gulls Vazon - PKV 
Vazon - PKV

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seabird Visits 2011

Lesser Black-backed Gulls in a "Burhou" Sunset - PKV
With the 2011 Seabird Breeding Season now complete (from my point of view) I have uploaded brief reports on eleven visits to islands and islets in the Bailiwick of Guernsey this year. It was very much a "mixed" season with good productivity amongst early breeders such as European Shag and Great Cormorant, mediocre productivity for Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls and very poor productivity for my principal study species - Lesser Black-backed Gull. Despite this, mainly thanks to Paul Roper, and members of the North Thames Gull Group and the Guernsey Seabird Monitoring Team, the LBBG study goes from strength to strength with a very successful cannon netting operation at Chouet landfill in May. We failed (for the second consecutive year) to land in the main Gannet colonies to ring chicks, but did manage to ring a sample of European Storm petrels on Burhou - so a very mixed season, full of highs and lows...and as ever hard , but rewarding work!

The visit write-ups can be viewed at:-

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Herring Gulls in Guernsey

On 7th August 2011, Dave Murray (who lives in NW England) visited Guernsey for the day – as part of a cruise. Dave is a keen recorder of gull colour rings, and he has seen several Guernsey birds in the Malaga region of Spain. He has also been to Guernsey a couple of times for long weekends. On his most recent flying visit he managed to record 15 locally ringed Herring Gulls and one cr Great Black-backed Gull in St Peter Port Harbour. As usual Dave very kindly sent me some very nice photos of these gulls.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hungarian Mediterranean Gull and Polish Black-headed Gull in Guernsey

Immediately after a stunning sunrise at Pembroke Beach this morning I saw two juvenile Mediterranean Gulls amongst the 500+ Herring Gulls. Both were active and remained on the beach for only a minute or two. Amazingly one of these juveniles had a red colour ring. Every time it stopped moving it was blocked by a large gull so I struggled to see the ring. Then I got a clear view and recorded Red HKK3...and only a few seconds later the bird disappeared (and I could not relocate it). I'm pretty sure this is a bird ringed in HUNGARY...but will await confirmation! I looked for the bird for over an hour, including on Bellegreve Bay, where there were only two Mediterranean Gulls. The cr bird was not there...but amongst the roosting Black-headed Gulls was White TARM - a bird ringed as an adult in a colony at Przykona Reservoir, Radyczyny, Turek, POLAND on 05 June 2010 - and recorded at Bellegreve Bay, Guernsey from 14 August to 01 September 2010.
It has been a very good couple of days as yesterday I saw Lesser Black-backed Gull Red FTFA (juvenile) on Pembroke Beach. This gull had been ringed as a chick on 10 July 2011 on Havergate Island, Suffolk, England by Mike Marsh.
Pembroke Sunrise - PKV 
Bellegreve Bay - PKV 
Black-headed Gull White TARM - PKV 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Red FTFA - PKV

Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to Burhou, Alderney

Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to be able to get back to Burhou, Alderney. This visit was made at the request of the Alderney Wildlife Trust to help BBC's Coast Team film European Storm-Petrels for a new series to be shown in the spring/summer 2012.Chris Mourant came up with me and in the first three and a half hours after dark we caught 61 Stormies - 41 new birds, 19 retraps from Burhou (all at least five years old) and one British-ringed bird. Unfortunately some heavy rain showers then swept in and we had to furl the net. It was absolutely marvellous though to be handling these amazing little seabirds again - after a gap of nearly five years!
Of course while I was on Burhou I was very keen to record any of my colour ringed gulls that were still present on the island. It was fascinating to visit the colony so late in the season. As expected there were very few fledged young, but just over half the adults were still on the island (c 1,200 birds). I was surprised how attached they still were to the colony, despite their lack of success in raising young this year. No doubt they will continue to drift away over the next few days and weeks.
138 ring reads were taken on Lesser Black-backed Gulls - including one British ringed adult (Peter Rock) and one juvenile bird from Belgium (Eric Stienen).
BBC Coast Team, Burhou -PKV 
Main LBBG Colony - Burhou - PKV 
Roosting LBBGs - Burhou - PKV 
Little Burhou - PKV 
LBBGs loafing in main colony - Burhou - PKV 
Crabby Bay, Alderney - PKV 
LBBG Black 3.K0 Burhou - PKV 
LBBG Black 3.P3 Burhou - PKV 
LBBG Black 0AC6 Burhou - PKV

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Very Special Great Black-backed Gull!

Sophie with GBBG Happy Birthday Cake ! 
More GBBG cr juveniles appearing on the beaches 
Herring Gull White 8CP9 Pembroke 
Herring Gull White 2CR8 Pembroke
Mediterranean Gull White 3E90 Bellegreve Bay - PKV

It has been a very enjoyable birthday weekend with a special Great Black-backed Gull cake made by Sophie! On the gulling front it is wonderful now to see more and more of my juvenile colour ringed Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls on the beaches. Although the majority of my adult cr Lesser Black-backed Gulls have now migrated south, I can still find a small selection when I search for them.
Great news in from Spain over the weekend too where Paco Veiga and Antonio Gutierrez saw nine of my Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the gull flocks on Donana and Pantin beaches respectively!