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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Portuguese Pelagic

During our holiday based in Ferragudo, Portugal earlier this month, Catherine and I through sheer luck came across an opportunity to take a pelagic seabird trip out of the town of Sagres, located at the south-western tip of Portugal. We did not know this, but there are two companies which run both dolphin watching and pelagic seabird trips out of the port of Sagres. These are Marilimitado ( web =  ) and CapeCruiser ( web = ). Both use similar Ribs, and appear to run similar 3-4 hour trips for seabirds and shorter trips for dolphins. We went with Marilimitado purely because they had a trip running when we are in Sagres.
The Ribs motor c 14 nautical miles off the south-western tip of Portugal, to where the waters suddenly become much deeper, and there are nutrient upwellings attracting plankton, fish and seabirds! The ride out takes about 40 minutes, but there are always birds to look at on the way! We fund a trawler and came close before chumming to attract some of the seabirds.
Suffice to say it was one stunning pelagic! I had never imagined anything like this being possible in Portugal...but amongst the birds all around the boat were scores of Great and Cory's Shearwaters, a couple of Sooty Shearwaters, several European Storm-Petrels, lots of Northern Gannets (including many juvenile birds freshly arrived from their northern European breeding colonies), Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Great Skuas. It rapidly became a truly memorable pelagic!
After more than an  hour and a half with the birds we turned to motor back to port...but there was one more treat in store. WE came across a huge pod of c 200 Common Dolphins, and naturally many of them came to play bow-riding (including upside down) in front of the rib, and frequently leaping from the water. What an incredible end to a superb pelagic. I highly recommend it!!!
Fortunately Michael Davis was also on the trip, and he took some absolutely stunning photographs of the seabirds and dolphins. He has very kindly agreed to let me include them in this write-up. All photographs are copyright Michael Davis.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

150 Guernsey Gulls Not Out!

Yesterday Antonio Gutierrez informed me that he had just seen his 150th different "Guernsey" colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gull - Black 8AS4 a chick ringed on Burhou, Alderney in July this year. This is a truly incredible contribution from a single observer to our gull projects based in Guernsey, but of course Antonio has been making a major contribution to gull researching projects all over Europe for many years!
Antonio saw his first Guernsey gull - White 7S6 at Pantín Beach, Valdovino, A Coruna, Spain on 21st August 2008. His annual totals of Guernsey LBBGs have been as follows:-  2008 (two); 2009 (15); 2010 (30); 2011 (58) and 2012 (45 so far).
Gull researchers all over Europe are indebted to Antonio, and the growing number of gull enthusiasts in Western Europe , who take the time and trouble to look for, and to report (often with photographs)  colour ringed gulls. Below are a few of the "Guernsey Gulls" seen by Antonio in NW Spain!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Caspian Gull in Guernsey - Well in part maybe?!

Details have now been received for the colour-ringed 1st winter Caspian-type gull seen at L'Eree Beach , Guernsey on 7th September 2012. Green XCDP was ringed at Oberspreewald-Lausitz, Brandenburg, GERMANY on 30 May 2012. However, it was ringed in a mixed colony of argentatus/cachinaans/michahellis and unsurprisingly the exact parentage of the gull is not known. While some characteristics of the gull looked very good for Caspian Gull, other features were rather less clear. The bird will, at least for the time being, have to be recorded as a Caspian Gull/Hybrid. Perhaps, if this gull survives into adulthood, subsequent plumages may enable a more definite identification? This is an amazing record though, with the gull having flown some 1,200 km to reach Guernsey from its natal colony close to the Polish border!
 The Flight of Caspian Gull/hybrid Green XCDP

Caspian Gull/hybrid Green XCDP L'Eree Beach, Guernsey 07 September 2012 - PKV

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Norwegian GBBG and French Herring Gull

An hour at Chouet landfill yesterday morning gave c 100 Herring Gull cr reads - all local birds except Light Blue B44H, a bird ringed in Seine-Maritime, France by Christine Blaize. On the beach afterwards one of the few GBBGs was a 1st year bird ringed in Vest-Agder, SW Norway (Black JP179).
 Chouet Landfill
Herring Gull Light Blue B44H

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Colour Ringed Little Egret

Tony Loaring recently photographed a Little Egret with colour rings N4 at Fort Le Crocq. This bird is part of a Guernsey-based project run by Jamie Hooper. It was the only chick ringed on the first visit to the colony this season!

Little Egret N4

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Guernsey Gulls Every Day in Portugal!

Guernsey colour-ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls were seen on every day of my recent trip to the Algarve, Portugal! In total I made 33 observations of 21 different Guernsey birds - making the trip extremely successful. Based for nine days at Ferragudo, near Portimao in the Algarve, I managed to record gulls each morning and late afternoon mainly at three sites - Portimao Fish Port, Porto do Lagos Landfill and Quarteira Beach.
191 observations of 142 different colour-ringed LBBGs were made with birds from Scotland (four), England (24), Wales (six), Guernsey (21), Iceland (one), Germany (seven), Norway (11), Denmark (five), The Netherlands (33), Belgium (16), France (eight), Spain (two) and Portugal (four).
19 different Yellow-legged Gulls were also recorded as follows:- Algeria (one), Spain (five) and Portugal (13). Two Audouin's Gulls were from Corsica and Spain, while the nine White Storks recorded were from Portugal (seven), France (one) and Germany(one). The origins of a Greater Flamingo and Pied Avocet have yet to be traced.
The weather was absolutely superb - wall to wall sunshine and very warm - it was the summer we never got in Guernsey this year! . It was very nice to meet up with local ornithologist Carlos Pacheco (who regularly finds Guernsey Gulls in Portugal) and also Michael Davis (who reported some of my very first LBBGs from Quarteira...and has done so every year since 2009!). All in all a most relaxing and highly successful trip.

 Portimao Fishing Port
 Porto do Lagos Landfill
 Quarteira Fishing Port
 Gulls on Quarteira Beach
 Carlos Pacheco and PKV - Ferragudo

LBBGs from all over Western Europe!