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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

GBBGs Gathering.

A run down the west coast this morning proved fruitless, with no sign of the usual autumn LBBG flock there. Fortunately Chouet was covered in gulls, and as the tide rose many came closer and closer to the car. As I've come to expect at this time of year, the GBBG numbers were impressive with around 300+ birds (including 37 ringed birds). Most were Guernsey-ringed GBBGs, but there were also the two usual immature Norwegian birds, along with the long-staying English gull, and six French birds (five from Chausey Islands) and a youngster from Le Havre, Seine-Maritime.

Gulls and GBBGs at Chouet (c) PKV

Friday, August 29, 2014

2014 Seabird Monitoring in the Bailiwick of Guernsey

I've now posted the last of the 2014 seabird breeding season monitoring visits on my web details of all trips are now available at the following link:-
I'll also be producing a summary report this year...but not for a few weeks yet!

(c) PKV

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Exodus of LBBGs

It's always an exciting time of year, and although part of me is sad to see our LBBGs drifting off on their southward migrations, it is thrilling to receive daily updates on their travels. The scale of the gull projects in Guernsey is now such that it is not at all unusual for a number of our gulls to be present at the same stop-over sites in France, Spain and Portugal. In the past few days reports have included c 20 LBBGs at Eirol Landfill, Portugal, c 20 over a period of several days at Torreira Beach, Portugal, eleven at Odiel, Huelva, Spain and half a dozen or so at landfills in central Spain. The early birds are also back with Salva Garcia in Malaga, Southern Spain. In addition we have reports from many observers at beaches on Portugal's west coast. In some cases the birds are attracted by Xavega - the traditional fishing where the catch is landed on the beach. José Tavares has reported good numbers of Guernsey-ringed LBBGs on Torreira Beach, Aveiro, Portugal. The photos below show why!

Xavega Fishing at Torreira Beach, Aveiro, Portugal (c) José Tavarés

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lots of Juvenile LBBGs

Perhaps the highlight of the weekend for me has been the noticeable increase in juvenile LBBGs on the northern beaches. Most now appear to be independent, but there are still quite a few begging from parents. In fact it has been a common sound in the garden this weekend - LBBGs flying over with begging juveniles in tow! Although most of the juvenile LBBGs are not ringed, it's always thrilling to see some of our colour ringed birds away from the colonies!

Gulls from the weekend (c) PKV

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More Interesting GBBG News from France!

It would seem that GBBGs are forming the subject of my recent blogs! While we colour ring less GBBGs than either Herring Gulls or LBBGs, they are producing some very valuable data for our gull research projects. Even before we began to colour ring them in 2009, we had been metal ringing chicks for many years. We are finding that many juvenile and immature GBBGs wander the western English Channel coasts until they reach near breeding maturity. They are commonly reported from South-west England and North-west France. A minority disperse further south in France to Vendee, or even as far as the Spanish border, but it is unusual to get reports of our GBBGs sighted east up the English Channel.
This is why it is even more remarkable that of the seven pairs of GBBGs nesting in Boulogne Harbour, Pas-de-Calais, France  two of the adults were metal ringed as chicks in Guernsey! J0658 was ringed in July 2005 on Burhou, Alderney by Jamie Hooper. It was first recorded in Boulogne on 02 July 2007, and it has now bred in the port several times, raising two chicks this summer. J0075 was ringed by me in July 2006  on Lihou, Guernsey. It was first recorded at Boulogne this summer, where it raised a single chick to fledging. These birds nest on roof tops of industrial buildings in the port (see photos below).
Our thanks to Jean-Michel Sauvage for reading these metal rings on several occasions and keeping very good track of both birds. Some of Jean-Michel’s excellent photos of both gulls (with their fledged chicks) and their nesting sites are shown below:-

GBBGs J0075 and J0658 and their nesting sites at Boulogne, France (c) Jean-Michel Sauvage


Monday, August 11, 2014

An Even Older Guernsey Great Black-backed Gull!

Hot on the heels of old-timer GBBG E5506 , now comes an even older bird, which is getting very close to breaking the UK longevity record for this species. Last night Lee Collins reported seeing GBBG Jersey metal ring E4357 at Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve, Devon, England. I ringed this bird as a chick in June 1990…so it is now just over 24 years, one month and two weeks of age! If this wonderful old gull can survive another year and manage to get its metal ring read again – Guernsey will snatch the record away from Scotland (not that we’re competitive down here!).

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Guernsey Great Black-backed Gull Getting Close to Longevity Record

One of the gulls seen at Chouet Landfill yesterday was a metal ringed bird - Jersey E5506. I ringed this gull as a chick in Herm, Guernsey on 22 June 1993, so this bird has now entered its 22nd year! According to the British Trust for Ornithology Longevity Records the oldest GBBG on record is a bird ringed in Orkney, Scotland in July 1983, and found predated there in July 2008 - making the bird 24 years, 11 months and 25 days old. E5506 isn't quite there yet...but I hope it can survive a few more years' yet!
GBBG E5506 at Chouet Landfill (c) PKV

Saturday, August 9, 2014

And Another Great Morning at Chouet Landfill

Given the state of the tide last week, I watched the beaches rather than Chouet Landfill, so it was a pleasant change this morning to enter the landfill and see what was happening. The answer was a great deal, although the numbers of LBBGs have fallen significantly in recent weeks. There were still 400+ at the landfill, including 130 colour ringed birds, but the site is now very dominated once again by Herring Gulls (c 4,000+ present). Amongst the LBBGs was one of Mike Marsh's birds from Suffolk, England - Red FAF.U.

Gulls at Chouet Landfill today (c) PKV