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.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Benefits of a Rising Tide

...are they bring the gulls closer and closer! Another very enjoyable early morning session at the northern beaches resulted in c 200 cr readings again. GBBGs continue to increase in number, with 27 crs today (including five French and one English bird). There are now lots band lots of juvenile Herring Gulls on the beaches - perhaps 250+ this morning (of which 21 were locally colour ringed).

 Gulls at Chouet Landfill Beach
 GBBGY Yellow 0.TT6 as chick on Lihou, Guernsey

 GBBG Green K.72 from Chausey Islands, Manche, France
 Gulls at Chouet Landfill Beach
Mediterranean Gulls at Bellegreve Bay (all photos (C) PKV)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

617 - The Gull Chick Colour Ringing Tally for 2014

As this year’s gull chicks begin to fledge, I thought I’d post a summary of the numbers of chicks colour ringed in the Bailiwick. The highlight has been 353 Lesser Black-backed Gulls fitted with black colour rings – a record for us. This resulted from reasonable productivity this year from the much troubled main colony (c 1,000 pairs +) on Burhou, Alderney, and also a good season on some of the much smaller colonies on Sark.
Our performance with Great Black-backed Gulls was rather modest with only 54 chicks colour ringed, but we did better with Herring Gulls with 210 chicks colour ringed. Herring Gulls in particular had a very productive season, and this total represents only a sample of the chicks in the colonies this year.
So…with 617 gull chicks colour ringed this summer, it proved to be a very satisfactory season. Now I can look forward to finding many of these juvenile gulls once they’ve left the nesting colonies.
LBBG Black 2CP1

GBBG Yellow 8AA8
Herring Gull White 5JU9

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More Fun at the Beaches

It’s obvious now that gulls are back on the move – whether that’s short-term movements of juvenile birds to the beaches, mid-distance movements of adult Herring Gulls to adjacent coasts of France or the longer flights of the first departing adult LBBGs to Iberia. This makes it the start of another very exciting time of year for studying gulls here in Guernsey. This morning I found juvenile locally colour ringed gulls from all three species on the northern beaches, as well as a noticeable increase in GBBG numbers (which included one English-ringed, one Norwegian ringed and two French-ringed birds – all of which are known to visit Guernsey on their wanderings in the English Channel).
 GBBG yellow 9AA6 on Pembroke today
 GBBG Yellow 9AA6 as a chick on Jethou
 LBBG Black 3CL1

 GBBG Black JJ048 from Norway

 GBBG Black 54N from France

 Gulls on L'Ancresse Common - all photos (c) PKV

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Med Fest!

I've been seeing a few Mediterranean Gulls around the Island's coasts for a few weeks now, but today was my first visit to Bellegreve Bay to check for colour ringed birds. The 25 Mediterranean Gulls in the high tide roost was a record number for me in Guernsey - and amongst these birds were the regular returning Belgian birds (White 3E90 (now on its ninth consecutive annual autumn visit to Guernsey), and White E898 (its 2nd year in Guernsey). There were 18 juvenile birds, including a new colour ringed one - Green RU50 (probably from France).
Amongst only a handful of Black-headed Gulls in the roost were two well-known Polish birds - White TARM (now in its 5th consecutive winter in Guernsey, and White TETT (now in its 4th consecutive winter here).
All in all not a very rewarding visit to the Island's principal east coast bay.

Mediterranean Gulls and Black-headed Gulls at BGB (c) PKV

It's Only Taken Three Years - My First cr Great Cormorant Sighting

It's taken three years, but this weekend I finally managed to see the first colour ringed Great Cormorant from our own project, based in Guernsey. We only colour ring c 40 chicks each year, and with reports from NW France, SW England and Northern Spain so far, it's clear that our young birds disperse away from the islands quite quickly. However, Black AV ringed at Lihou, Guernsey in our first year (2012) was on the rocks off Chouet Landfill Beach on Friday. Let's hope it doesn't take me another three years to find the next one!
Great Cormorant Black AV at Chouet, Guernsey (c) PKV

Friday, July 25, 2014

Juvenile Gulls at the Seaside!

I love going to the beach very early in the morning at this time of year because there are now lots of juvenile Herring and smaller numbers of juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the water’s edge…many still begging food from tired parents. When I first started the gull colour ringing projects I was always very disappointed to see how few of these gulls had been ringed by us during the breeding season on our visits to the various colonies around the islands. This morning was no different. I must have checked more than 50 juvenile gulls and found only two ringed birds (one from Lihou and one from Jethou). It shows we only ring a sample of the birds raised around the islands!
I saw my first ringed fledged juvenile Herring Gull on 18 July, and so far I’m now up to five birds (two from Sark, two from Jethou and one from Lihou). My first fledged Lesser Black-backed Gull was on 05 July…but I’ve yet to find a ringed one this year.

So far I’ve only seen fledged Great Black-backed Gulls in the air or out at sea…so I haven’t been able to check for rings. It won’t be long before I spot my first ringed juveniles…will they be our own Guernsey birds or perhaps an early bird dispersing from Chausey Islands, France?


Juvenile Gulls at the Seaside (PKV)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Storm Petrels and LBBGs on Burhou

The last seabird monitoring visit of the year was completed last weekend, with a two night trip to Burhou to try to assess how Storm Petrels are doing on the island. It is some six years since the last such trip. This monitoring was led by Chris Mourant, and was successful beyond our wildest dreams!
With limited netting our six person team caught almost 500 Storm Petrels in just two nights. Around 350 were new birds with the rest being very valuable re-traps and nine foreign-ringed birds (five from Britain and four from France).
During the same visit we also colour ringed another 67 LBBG chicks, seven Herring Gull chicks and two GBBG chicks, along with two adult LBBGs.
Perhaps the most surprising catch of the weekend was a juvenile Grasshopper Warbler caught at dusk on the first night.
All in all a  truly fantastic and very encouraging way to complete the 2014 Seabird Monitoring season. My sincere thanks to everyone who has helped in what turned out to be a long and gruelling season's work.

Photos from a Marvellous End to the 2014 Seabird Season on Burhou (c) PKV