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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Guernsey LBBG in Africa

News came in today of one of the LBBG chicks ringed on Burhou, Alderney last year. The bird (Black 7AP1) was unfortunately found dead on Casablanca Beach, Morocco (a straight line distance of nearly 1,900 km). While northern populations of LBBGs regularly reach NW Africa in winter, this is less usual for gulls from the southern populations (like Guernsey) it is always very valuable to receive such reports. My thanks to Amine Charif for reporting his find.
LBBG Black 7AP1 Burhou July 2012. This little bundle of feathers made it all the way to Africa!
The Movement of LBBG B7AP1

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Two Little Coincidences

Amongst the foreign-ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls I saw at Quarteira, Portugal, last week were two birds that I had already seen on passage through Guernsey! Blue USA.G was ringed by Eric Stienen as a chick at Zeebrugge, Belgium on 13 July 2012. On 18 August that year it was showing very well at Chouet landfill, Guernsey. I saw it again on 16 and 18 September 2013 on the beach at Quarteira .
The other bird was LBBG White A+S, a chick ringed in Bristol, England on 23 June 2011 by Peter Rock. It was recorded last winter in November and April at Quarteira by Michael Davis.  I was fortunate enough to see this gull on spring passage through Guernsey on 23 May this year! On 18 and 20 September 2013 I met up with the bird again some 1, 450 km away on a beach in Southern Portugal! Life sometimes throws us some strange and pleasant coincidences!

LBBG Blue USA.G at Chouet Landfill August 2012
Gulls on the Beach at Quarteira, Faro September 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another Great Trip to Portugal

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a few early mornings looking for colour ringed gulls around Quarteira in the Algarve, Portugal. Despite being a month earlier than I would  normally visit Portugal there were very good numbers of gulls at Quarteira (4,000+ on some mornings). Lesser Black-backed Gulls were the most numerous at this site. Other sites which are normally very productive (Portimao Fish Port and Porto do Lagos Landfill) were far less so this time, but I only passed the former site twice (both times when fisheries activities were minimal), and visited the landfill once.
Given the limited time available to record gulls, I was very pleased with a total of 106 colour ring sightings involving 80 different birds as follows:- 68 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, nine Yellow-legged Gulls and three White Storks. The Yellow-legged Gulls were all ringed in Iberia (five in Portugal and four in Spain).
The country breakdown for the LBBGs was :- 18 Guernsey, 16 The Netherlands (two projects), 10 England (three projects),six Wales, four each Belgium (two projects) and Portugal, three France, two each Scotland and Norway and singles from Iceland and Spain.

Watching large flocks of LBBGs in the tranquillity of a Portuguese dawn, golden sand at your feet, with the warm sun rising fast in a cloudless sky must surely be one of life’s great treasures....especially when  you are observing some of the same gulls as you see so far away at home!

 Gulls at Quarteira, Faro
White Storks at Porto do Lagos Landfill

Monday, September 23, 2013

First Guernsey-Ringed LBBG Observed in Sweden

Amongst the gull colour ring sightings awaiting my turn from a week’s leave was an exceptional report from Sweden! Snygg Goran reported LBBG Black 8AN9 feeding amongst a flock of several hundred gulls just south of Eldsberga, Halmstad. This bird was caught in our garden on Guernsey in early July 2012, and as it was an adult female bird it was assumed to be a bird from the local population nesting in the Bailiwick. However, it now seem more likely that this gull is from a northern population and that it was just passing through Guernsey in early July last year. Hopefully further sightings in the months and years ahead may cast further light on this fascinating report!
The Remarkable Journey of LBBG Black 8AN9

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nine Red Birds!

After the usual early morning gull tour (little change from recent days), I went to the East Coast at lunch time to marvel once again at the annual Battle of Britain Air Display...and in particular the RAF Red Arrows Display Team. Most birders I know also love aeroplanes...perhaps we just want to fly?! is always thrilling to watch the high speed aerial manoeuvres of the pilots and their BAE Hawk Trainer jets. Watching people who excel at their jobs is almost always a true privilege!
Naturally...the gulls on the East coast were less impressed by the display than I was...but they were soon feeding on the beaches again!!!

Pretty Awesome Flying!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Not a Lot of Change, but nice Yellow-legged Gulls Views

After yesterday’s failure to locate the West Coast LBBG flock, I was pleased this morning to find c 600 birds; mostly at L’Éree with smaller numbers at Perelle. 47 of these gulls were colour ringed (all Guernsey or Alderney birds), and there was little evidence of much change amongst the flock over the past week or so. There are still relatively few juvenile LBBGs amongst the moulting adults and immatures. Two Yellow-legged Gulls (one adult and one 3rd summer+) showed very well in the early morning sunshine.

 LBBG Black 8AT8 with Yellow-legged Gull
 LBBG Black 0.A8 today
 LBBG Black 0.A8 as chick

 Various plumages of LBBG White 6.V0
LBBGs at L'Eree Beach

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Spot the Yellow-legged Gull

Highlights of a couple of hours at Chouet landfill this morning included 200+ cr reads on Herring Gulls, 20 cr LBBGs and 20 GBBGs (including a Norwegian 2nd year bird - Black JP719). An adult Yellow-legged Gull conveniently posed next to Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls showing well the difference in mantle colouration between the three species. 
 Rainbow over Chouet landfill

 GBBG Black JP719 (from Vest-Agder, Norway)

 GBBG Green N46 (from Chausey, France)
 GBBG Yellow 0.PP0 (from Guernsey)

 Herring Gulls from Guernsey

Adult Yellow-legged Gull with LBBG and Herring Gulls