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Friday, September 16, 2011

Icelandic LBBG Back in Guernsey!

After two very disappointing post dawn trips down Guernsey’s west coast, when I failed to find more than a few Lesser or Great Black-backed Gulls, I got lucky today! The tide was better this morning, and on both L’Eree and Perelle there were decent flocks of LBBGs – in total around 200 birds. One of the first colour ringed birds seen was Blue YH05 – an Icelandic breeding bird, which used Guernsey’s west coast as a migration stop-over at this time of year in 2010. It is amazing how some of these gulls really are creatures of habit – even using the same migration stop-over locations! Not to be outshone by this exciting visitor…my own cr LBBGs soon began to appear…and I ended my session with 14 Guernsey and Alderney LBBGs recorded! The last cr LBBG seen, shortly before the flock on Perelle was flushed by a passing motorcycle, was a 1st winter bird – Red S:097 – a bird from a new project in SW England run by Mike Bailey.

As if this wasn’t enough excitement I also found two Great Black-backed Gulls from Bruce Taggart’s project running at St George’s Island, Looe, Cornwall, England – L:AJ8 (recorded in Guernsey on 31 October 2010 and 15 January 2011) and L:AS0 (a 1st winter bird recorded here for the first time).

Tim Earl also recorded a LBBG (Black SJ) at L’Eree on 15 September, which had been ringed in Bristol in 1994 by Peter Rock.

LBBG Blue YH05 from Iceland
GBBG White L:AS0 from Cornwall 
GBBG Yellow 0.PP7 from Lihou, Guernsey 
GBBG Yellow 0.PP7 in June 2011  
Gulls on L'Eree Beach 16 September 2011
And finally…the Polish colour ringed Black-headed Gull, which spent last autumn (and this autumn so far) in Guernsey - White TARM - was on L’Ancresse Common last evening – all in all a really outstanding 24 hours for recording cr gulls in Guernsey!

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