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, July 31, 2013

Arctic Traveller

In early April this year Lesser Black-backed Gull Black JR42 was seen on Chouet Beach. This gull was on passage back to Norway. What made this sighting extra special was the discovery that it is one of the gulls nesting in the far north of Norway, way up in the Arctic Circle on the Island of Loppa in Finnmark. The life history of this gull showed that it had been ringed as a chick in July 2006, and that it is has spent significant parts of intervening winters in Spain. However, until yesterday the gull had not been recorded back at its natal colony. After passing through Guernsey this spring, Black JR42 did return to Loppa, where gull enthusiasts Morten Helberg and Arild Breistol recorded it yesterday.
LBBG Black JR42 on Chouet Beach, Guernsey - April 2013 (c) PKV
The Movements of Black JR42

Young Gulls Invade the Beaches

It's a great time of year. The season's seabird monitoring work is over for another year, so I can just grab the scope again and head for the beaches or landfill early in the mornings - simply to enjoy the gulls...and it's always really good to see the invasion of the beaches by juvenile gulls! Every year I wonder what I did with my time...because hardly any juvenile gulls seem to be colour-ringed! Most of these early juveniles will be Channel Island bred birds...but many nest in inaccessible places. At least I found five cr juvenile Herring Gulls in the hoards of youngsters today. Most of the juveniles are Herring Gulls, but there are also a few Great Black-backed Gulls and today my first Lesser Black-backed Gulls (always very smart...but none with colour rings!).

Gulls at Chouet Landfill Beach (c) PKV

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Belgian Visitor

This morning, while checking out my cr gulls at Chouet Landfill Beach, I came across Lesser Black-backed Gull Blue LTA*R - one of the gull's from Eric Stienen's long-running projects based at Zeebrugge, Belgium. More evidence that adult LBBGs are on the move, following the 2013 breeding season. I also checked out the small flocks of Black-headed Gull today on Guernsey's North and West coasts (still less than 100 birds in total)...and no colour rings. Only two Mediterranean Gulls too - a juvenile and 2nd summer bird at Cobo Beach.
 Gulls on Cobo Beach

 Mediterranean Gull - 2nd Summer
Mediterranean Gull - Juvenile
LBBG Blue LTA*R at Chouet landfill Beach (c) PKV

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Another Very Nice Morning at Chouet

A couple of hours at Chouet and the northern beaches this morning was well rewarded with another c 250 colour ring reads (mostly Herring Gulls this morning- just to even up my observer bias!). It was really good to see my first three cr juvenile Herring Gulls on the beaches.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Stop Press - The Race is Won!

And so we have this summer's winner in the LBBG race back to Spain. LBBG Black 1AV6 (ringed at Chouet in May 2013) was on Esmelle Beach, A Coruna yesterday. Perhaps as expected this is not a gull of breeding age (being a 3rd calendar year bird)...but we know it was in Guernsey earlier this summer...and that makes it this year's race winner. Many thanks to Paco Veiga for reporting the gull...hopefully the first of many GuernseyGulls to invade the beaches of A Coruna this late summer/autumn! Seb Nedellec has also recently reported a couple of Guernsey colour-ringed LBBGs from Trunvel in Finistere, NW birds are clearly on the move!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Gulls in the Mist

Chouet Landfill was very atmospheric this morning as a sea mist rolled in over the site. It was never thick enough to hamper another really excellent gull watching session. c 200 colour ring reads were taken, the majority once again LBBGs (observer bias not numerical advantage over Herring Gulls!). With the ringing work pretty much over until deep autumn/winter, I'm really enjoying just watching the gulls...observing their post-breeding interactions. Many are now in moult and look rather more bedraggled than they did at the start of the season. I know now to appreciate the LBBGs in particular as it will not be long before their numbers dwindle.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gull Post-Breeding Dispersal Begins

Right on cue with previous years, we are now receiving reports of both adult Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls dispersing  after presumably breeding or attending colonies in the Bailiwick. In the past couple of days Francois Leclerc has reported two LBBGs and three Herring Gulls at a landfill site in Calvados, France (c 170 km distant from Guernsey and therefore outside daily foraging ranges). Interestingly Francois recorded both LBBGs (Black 7N1 and Black 9AJ2) at the same landfill within a few days of the same date in 2012!
Now I am wondering...which of the colour ringed adult LBBGs known to have been in the Channel Islands this summer will win the race to Spain this autumn?!
 (c) Dave Murray
LBBG Black 9AJ2 & HG White 1.DD2 two gulls which are now back in Calvados, France after 2013 breeding season (c) Jean-Claude-Hinet

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The End of the 2013 Season Draws Near

The signs of the end of the 2013 gull breeding season are all around now - Black-headed Gulls have returned to the Island in force (firstly adult birds two to three weeks ago, but now juvenile birds as well), along with a scattering of Mediterranean Gulls, the first juvenile Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls are down on the north coast beaches (17th July), the Lesser Black-backed Gulls are gathering in flocks (perhaps 800 + birds at Chouet Landfill this morning) and the flock of post-breeding Herring Gulls on Pembroke Beach (always a feature of late summer) is growing by the day. It wont be long now before the first adult LBBGs begin their southward migration, and many of the Herring Gulls disperse again until the end of the year.
 Moulting flock on Pembroke Beach 19 July 2013

Gulls at Chouet landfill 20 July 2013