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, December 26, 2012

First Guernsey-ringed Yellow-legged Gull Sighting Outside Channel Islands

I recently received an e-mail from Harry Vercruijsse reporting the sighting on 13 December of Yellow-legged Gull White 1FC1 at Blaringhem, Nord, France. This is one of only two Yellow-legged Gulls to have been colour ringed to date in the Channel Islands - both at Chouet Landfill. White 1FC1 was ringed as an adult on 24 May 2012 during the cannon netting week run  by Paul Roper and members of the North Thames Gull Group. It was not recorded again until the above sighting. This is a really exciting observation to receive...just as 2012 is drawing to a close!

 Yellow-legged Gull White 1FC1 at Blaringhem, Nord, France (c) Harry Vercruijsse

 Yellow-legged Gull White 1FC1 at Chouet Landfill May 2012 (c) PKV
The Movement of Yellow-legged Gull White 1FC1

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey!

After the brilliant sunshine and black beaches (actually yellow...but darkened by a covering of 30,000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls!) of Morocco, it was back to the 50 shades of grey in Guernsey today at Chouet! It was so wet and dismal, with the dull grey light coming up so late that I did not bird in the landfill, but rather from the car at Chouet landfill Beach. After taking c 70 local Herring Gull colour ring reads, amongst the grey covering of Herring Gulls on the rocks, I went home for a nice warm cup of coffee. Not a single LBBG in sight - only a month to go before the first of our birds return!

50 Shades of Grey at Chouet

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Guernsey Gull in Mauretania - Well Almost!

We have just received our very first report of a Lesser Black-backed Gull in Mauritania...well...OK...I had better come clean straight away...and confess that it is not actually a Guernsey nesting (and ringed) LBBG, but rather a Norwegian bird, which had previously been seen on spring migration through the Islands. For the moment this is the closest we have to any sightings in Mauritania, and there is only one report of any of the LBBGs seen in Guernsey further south - a 1st winter LBBG ringed as a chick on Burhou, Alderney in July 2010 and reported that winter from The Gambia.
The Norwegian LBBG (Black J3H4) was ringed as a chick on Hummerholmen, Vest-Agder, Norway on 11 July 2007 by Thomas Bentsen, and then seen at Chouet Beach, Guernsey on 25 April 2010. It was first reported from offshore, Mauritania on 11 November 2011 (4,618 km from its natal site in Norway) and then again on 05 December 2012 (4,823 km from Hummerholmen).
 LBBG Black J3H4 Chouet Beach, Guernsey 25 April 2010 (c) PKV
LBBG Black J3H4 Migration

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Anza Score Board!

Many thanks to the ringers and project leaders who have already responded with life histories of the gulls seen recently at Anza, Agadir, Morocco. The final tally of individual birds looks like this:-

Lesser Black-backed Gulls
The Netherlands          64     
Norway                        65
Belgium                       28  
England                       28   
Denmark                     18   
Germany                       8      
Wales                            5       
Guernsey, CIs               7
France                           7
Scotland                        5
Iceland                          3
Portugal                        1

Total =                      239 different individuals.

Audouin's Gulls
Spain                        22

Mediterranean Gulls
Poland                        1
Hungary                     1
France                        1

Black-headed Gulls
Spain                          2

Total = 266 different gulls

It was a truly magnificent to see me through the winter...until our Lesser Black-backed Gulls return from their travels for another breeding season in the Islands!





Saturday, December 15, 2012

Guernsey Gulls at Quarteira, Faro, Portugal

Another of my favourite places to enjoy gulls on their travels is Quarteira, Faro on the south coast of Portugal. There are gull hot spots at a number of sites along this coastline - pretty much any coastal area with a fishing port is worth a look! However...Quarteira was one of the first places that our Guernsey Lesser Black-backed Gulls were reported from in the autumn and winter of 2008 and 2009. It was Michael Davis, a birder and gull enthusiast from Ireland, who made me aware of Quarteira's potential. Michael is now spending a little more time over the winter in the area, and as a result he is providing a very nice series of observations for the Guernsey projects. His last submissions for October and November involved 50 sightings and included a wonderful batch of photos...which I want to share on the blog...a reminder for Catherine and me of some very happy times spent in the Quarteira area.

"Guernsey" Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Quarteira (c) Michael Davis

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Anza, Morocco – One of the Greatest Gull Shows on Earth!

I’ve just returned from a week in Agadir, Morocco. Although a holiday, it was not a coincidence that the legendary “Anza” just happens to be a stone’s throw from Agadir. I was fortunate enough to visit Anza two years ago, when the sight of so many gulls feeding on fish waste was truly incredible – perhaps as many as 30,000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were on the beach on some days! This time I was even more awe-struck by the sheer volume of birds, and the incredible views that can be obtained. Of course I was there to try to see colour-ringed gulls, especially from Guernsey! I was not to be disappointed with seven different Guernsey LBBGs! Over the week I took hundreds of LBBG cr observations, mostly from Norway, The Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium, but birds were seen from 11 different European countries. Although numbers of small gulls were very modest I also recorded Mediterranean Gulls from Poland, Hungary and France and Black-headed Gulls from Spain. It will be some days before I am able to complete the spreadsheet of sightings and send them to the relevant project leaders. I will then post a summary of the sightings in another blog. Until then I recommend a visit to the Urban Gulls in Bergen Blog of Christian Pedersen and Arild Breistøl, as they were both at Anza the week or so before me. A summary of their staggeringly successful trip has just been posted on their web site .

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Three "Guernsey" Lesser Black-backed Gulls Wintering in Gran Canaria

Recently we've had news from Gran Canaria of three Guernsey-ringed LBBGs that are wintering in the Canary Islands - all on Gran Canaria. Black 9K5 was recorded there last winter, and it returned this summer to Guernsey. Joining it this winter are Black 9V0 and Black 8AH8. The straight line distance between the ringing and wintering site is more than 2,600 km (see map below). I am very grateful to Francisco and Javier del Campo and Xabier Remirez for these wonderful sightings!

 LBBG Black 9V0 Las Palma Harbour, Gran Canaria - (c) Xabier Remirez
LBBG Black 9K5 Boccabaranco, Gran Canaria (c) Xabier Remirez

A Winter's Day's Gull Catch

Part of the Guernsey Gulls Team made a  very nice catch of Herring Gulls in the garden today. I haven't had a chance to analyse the data yet...but once again there was a high proportion of 1st winter birds. We are sure that Guernsey hosts many more immature gulls each winter than have been reared around the Islands. This is probably mainly due to Chouet Landfill, which provides a reliable major food supply. Today Chris's son, Owen, came along to help - and as can be seen below he is learning young how to handle large gulls!
Owen with Herring Gull White 6HA5

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chouet Delivers Again!

This morning I enjoyed a very leisurely and enjoyable session at Chouet Landfill, recording c 170 of our locally-ringed Herring Gulls, along with eight Great Black-backed Gulls (including three French birds). Once again no Lesser Black-backed Gulls were recorded today.

Black 8AN7 was ringed as a 1st summer hybrid Herring Gull x ? in July 2012.