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Sunday, November 6, 2011

News from Morocco

Recently I received news from Morten Helberg in Norway of some gull sightings from a couple of trips to Morocco by Norwegian gull enthusiasts earlier this year. This report included seven sightings involving five Lesser Black-backed Gulls ringed in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Three of these gulls were seen in April at the gull hotspot of Anza Beach, near Agadir, and while I had seen Black 0.L8 at this very site the previous December, the other two birds (Black 6.J0 and Black 6.K2 - both chicks from Alderney in 2010) were both 1st sightings since ringing. A Burhou chick which was only metal ringed (because it was too small to take a colour ring) in July 2009 was seen several hundred km to the north at Oualidia Rubbish Dump, Morocco.
However…pride of place went to LBBG White 6S9, which was only the 2nd LBBG to be ringed in the Guernsey project – in our garden at Ty Coed, Vale Marais, Guernsey on 26 May 2008. This gull, which had been recorded in the autumns of 2008 and 2009 at Quarteira, Algarve, Portugal, was seen on 13 February 2011 at Dakhla South in Western Sahara – some 3,108 km from its ringing place making it by far the most southerly report to date of a Guernsey-ringed LBBG! To add to this excitement I recorded this gull back in Guernsey on 21 April 2011, and then several times over the summer on Burhou, Alderney where it probably breeds.
LBBG White 6S9 May 2008 
LBBG White 6S9 Chouet, Guernsey 21 April 2011

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