This weekend's highlight comes not from the island but from NW Spain, where on Saturday ardent gull watcher Antonio Gutierrez managed to record his 100th Guernsey colour ringed gull - Lesser Black-backed Gull White 6.U6 (which is a breeding adult from Burhou, Alderney).
Bearing in mind that 20 years of my metal ringing Lesser Black-backed Gull chicks had not resulted in a single report from Spain...I find it incredible that in just four years my colour ringing programme has yielded such rich results.
It is very encouraging too that while Antonio is one of the most proficient and prolific ring readers in Iberia (the principal wintering grunds for Guernsey's Lesser Black-backed Gulls), he is being joined by an ever increasing number of keen local enthuisiasts who take the time and the trouble to read the rings on the gulls they see and report them. The contribution they are making to gull research should not be underestimated.
While ring reading by Portuguese birders is perhaps not quite so widespread as in Spain, it is such a lovely place to take a late autumn/winter holiday for birders from further north, that we are fortunate to enjoy a very healthy series of reports from this country too.
Now all we need to do is encourage colour ring reading by the relatively few local birders in Morocco and NW Africa! Now...that would yield spectacular results!
LBBG White 6.U6 Meiras, Spain - Antonio's 100th Guernsey Gull in Spain!