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.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Some Interesting LBBG Movements

Hot on the heels of LBBG Black 4AL4, Pepe Greno has observed two more "Guernsey Gulls" at Castellon Harbour, Spain. As reported in this blog on 13 November such movements to the Mediterranean coast of Spain are unusual for our LBBGs. None of the three gulls has records in Guernsey during the summer (after ringing in late May) so we are speculating that these birds may be from a different population, which were migrating through Guernsey when ringed. Hopefully in the years ahead we will learn far more in relation to the movements of the gulls observed in Guernsey! I also include a very nice photo Pepe sent me of a Ring-billed Gull (which is known from a number of sightings in Guernsey) amongst Audouins Gulls (which we have not yet recorded!).
 LBBG Black 4AK7 Castellon harbour (c) Pepe Greno
 LBBG Black 6AM2 Castellon Harbour (c) Pepe Greno
The track of three Guernsey ringed LBBGs to Castellon Harbour
Ring-billed and Audouins Gulls at castellon harbour, Spain 02 April 2012 - (c) Pepe Greno

Also of great excitement is the report of the first of this year's 2012 LBBG chicks at the gull hotspot of Anza. Agadir. Black 4AP5 (ringed on Burhou on 14 July 2012) was observed in Morocco yesterday by two Norwegian Gull enthusiasts (Christian Pedersen and Arild Breistol) who are doing a fantastic job recording colour ringed gulls at Anza this week. Take a look at their superb blog for an account of the first three days!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

An Excellent Morning at Chouet Landfill

With a large spring tide early this morning, there was every chance that gull watching at Chouet landfill would be excellent today - and so it proved. Although numbers of GBBGs were rather disappointing (c 150 + gulls and only 11 cr birds - all known from previous visits), there were several thousand Herring Gulls. More than 150 ring reads were taken  including Orange AV1*T ( 2nd winter bird ringed by Paul Roper and the North Thames Gull Group on 22 October 2011 at Rainham Landfill, London. Not a single Lesser Black-backed Gull was recorded today!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Two Unusual Gull Movements

It is unusual for Channel Island Herring Gulls to travel as far as northern Spain for the autumn/winter, but a minority of birds regularly makes this journey. One such bird is White 7CJ5 seen today by Raquel Posada and César Álvarez in the Avilés Estuary. Equally unusual are reports of our Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the eastern  (Mediterranean) coast of Spain (above Malaga) - so I was thrilled to learn that Black 4AL4 was at Castellon harbour yesterday (Pepe Greno).
 Herring Gull White 7CJ5
Lesser Black-backed Gull Black 4AL4

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Our Black-headed Gull project starts (at last!)

It has taken some time (several years!)...but this morning Chris Mourant, Phil Alexander and I finally got our latest colour ringing gull study airborne by catching a single adult Black-headed Gull at home at Ty Coed! After handling so many large gulls, the delicate nature of this small gull was astounding  It is a very very beautiful bird!
We also managed to ring 65 new Herring Gulls - almost all immatures (49 1st winters and six 2nd winters).It was excellent to see so many young gulls in the catch. We believe that many of the immature Herring Gulls on Guernsey each autumn/winter are birds from the English Channel coasts of northern France and southern England, but we have caught very few since commencing our colour ringing hopefully this hypothesis will be well tested in the years ahead. The attraction of course is Chouet landfill, which acts as a super magnet for gulls, and must be a major contributing factor to the survival rates of immature gulls in winter.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Class of 2012

I always enjoy seeing photographs from observers of our young Lesser Black-backed Gulls as they develop their plumages, so I thought I'd put a few photos on the blog of some of the "Class of 2012".

9AP9 in Portugal

 0AP1 in Portugal

 0AP2 L'Eree Guernsey

 1AP6 west coast of Spain

 1AS8 Algarve, Potugal 

 3AS1 Portugal

28 Colour-Ringed GBBGs at Chouet Landfill!

After a rather frustrating 10 days or so where I have not been able to locate the large flock of Great Black-backed Gulls which are often in Guernsey at this time of year, Saturday came good at Chouet landfill! A couple of hours in the morning saw a gradual turnover of GBBGs feeding at the landfill. Although there were never more than 80+ birds in the landfill, the fact that I recorded 28 different colour-ringed birds shows the level of turnover of birds feeding! The tally included One Norwegian bird (the same as seen on 20 October), six French birds (three Chausey Islands and three Seine-Maritime), one Jersey gull and 20 locally ringed birds.
Amongst several thousand Herring Gulls present at the site, more than 120 cr reads were taken, including the same French bird as last week (Light Blue B44H), and a bird from Gloucestershire (Blue EXT). Also on site was a bird from the London area (North Thames Gull Group)...but this bird flew as soon as I saw it, so I'm not sure I have the code correct!
It was a really superb early morning at the Landfill!