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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

On the Origins of Some of the LBBGs Moving through Guernsey in mid-May

It’s clear from field observations in Guernsey that the number of immature LBBGs increases each year as we enter May. While many of these gulls are locally reared youngsters returning to attend colonies ahead of their first breeding attempts in their fourth or fifth years, we also know that immatures from colonies further north are passing through the islands at this time. For example last week I saw Black P+F at Chouet. This bird was ringed in July 2012 in Bristol, England by Peter Rock. Amazingly I saw this bird in October of that year on Quarteira Beach in southern Portugal.
During the cannon netting week last May we caught even more immature LBBGs than usual and last summer we received sightings of a few of these gulls on beaches in The Netherlands, indicating that some of these gulls were from more northerly origins. However two recent reports throw some light on the probable natal colonies of some of the immature birds ringed last may at Chouet Landfill. Firstly Black 0AW1 (ringed as a 3rd year bird) was reported in the colony on Skomer Island, Dyfed, Wales, while Black 6CA3 (ringed as a 2nd year bird) is currently in the LBBG colony on the Isle of May, Fife, Scotland.
 LBBG Black 3AP2 - a Burhou chick back in the Islands (c) PKV
LBBG Black P+F from Bristol, England (c) PKV

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