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, October 30, 2014

And Now for Some Exciting LBBG Movements to Africa!

The last two blog posting have covered exciting movements of Guernsey colour-ringed Great Black-backed and Herring gulls. Today it is the turn of Lesser Black-backed Gulls with a recent hat-trick of reports from Morocco. Any gull movements to Africa always make exciting news for us…so to get three in a fortnight is rather special. Two birds (Black 2CK7 and Black 2CH7) were both ringed in May this year at Chouet Landfill. The former was a 3rd year gull, and it returned south quite quickly, being seen near Porto, Portugal on 25 June by Inocencio Oliveira and Teresa Rocha. Black 2CH7 was ringed as an adult male, but not seen again in Guernsey or anywhere else until Jeremy Dupuy and Charlotte Perrot saw both birds at Oued Tamri, Morocco – a straight-line distance from Guernsey of almost 2,200 km!
Today Ruth Garcia Gorria reported LBBG Black 3CH4 (another adult male ringed at Chouet last May) from Sidi Moussa-Walidia Saltpans, Doukkala-Abda, Morocco – a distance of just over 1,900 km from Chouet!
My thanks – as ever- to the observers who take the time and trouble to report colour ringed gulls to us.
LBBGs at Anza Beach, Morocco - December 2013 (c) PKV

PKV gull watching at Oued Tamri - December 2013 (c) Catherine Veron

Monday, October 27, 2014

And now a Thrilling Report of a Herring Gull in Scotland

Hot on the heels of the exciting report of GBBG Yellow 0J3 in Portugal, comes another exceptional sighting! This time it is Herring Gull White 8JA0. We ringed this gull as a 1st winter bird in our garden during a cold snap in November 2013. There were no further sightings of this Herring Gull until this weekend, when we got news from Bob Proctor that it was seen at Lossie Estuary, Moray in the north of Scotland! Chouet Landfill acts as a magnet for Herring Gulls in winter, particularly immature birds, and we know that many of these birds originate in southern England or northern France. However, previous observations of a Norwegian colour-ringed argentatus race Herring Gull at Chouet, and observations in southern Norway of one of our colour-ringed Herring Gulls shows that a minority of these visiting Herring Gulls have travelled much further to reach Guernsey! White 8JA0 is another such gull. It would be wonderful if this bird survives to reach breeding age, and to then produce sightings revealing its true origins!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Remarkable Flight of GBBG Yellow 0J3 to Portugal!

From time to time I get reports of our colour ringed gulls that really make me sit up and take notice! Yesterday Carlos Iván Gutiérrez sent me the most incredible report of one our Great Black-backed Gulls to date. Yellow 0J3 was ringed as a 2nd year bird in April 2009 at Chouet landfill. So far this gull has been recorded 91 times in Guernsey (the last time on 13 September 2014) you can see how I can be forgiven for thinking this is one of my very local birds! However on 23 October Ivan saw and photographed this very bird at Viana do Castelo, Braga in Northern Portugal. This is a straight-line distance from Chouet of 1,000 km! Until this report the furthest one of our GBBGs had been seen was the French/Spanish border. Often people ask me why I am so interested in gulls...and I always tell them that part of the reason is the birds' endless ability to continue to surprise and delight me with their life-styles. Yellow 0J3 is just such a bird!

GBBG Yellow 0J3 at Chouet Landfill and Chouet Landfill Beach (c) PKV

GBBG Yellow 0J3 Viana do Castelo, Braga, Portugal (c) Ivan Carlos Gutiérrez

Friday, October 24, 2014

Still No Caspians at Chouet!

Given Carl Baggot's virtually daily updates on the numbers of Caspian Gulls he is seeing at Shawell Lagoons in Leicestershire ( see Caspian Gulls at Shawell in 2014  ) , and the number seen at Dungeness so far this would have thought I could have found one by now amongst the thousands of Herring Gulls using Chouet landfill. A 2nd Winter Yellow-legged Gull was some compensation yesterday...but the big one still eludes me - despite checking many thousands of Herring Gulls! I'm patiently awaiting the first cold snap of the autumn to see if that may stir things up a little...but the fact that 32 of the 33 cr Great Black-backed Gulls recorded yesterday are birds already known on the island shows that gull movements are still quite limited here at the moment.

Gulls at Chouet Landfill (c) PKV

Gulls on Chouet Landfill Beach (c) PKV

One of my locally ringed GBBGs - Yellow 1.VV4 (c) PKV

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Slow Few Weeks in Guernsey

Gull watching in Guernsey has been a bit slow these past few weeks. This is not because there are few gulls...there are very good numbers of Herring Gulls around (including an astonishing proportion are un-ringed birds indicating origins outside the islands for many of these birds). However, the usual autumn flock of Great Black-backed Gulls has been rather disappointing. There are reasonable numbers around with several hundred birds on the north and west coasts, but the number of new colour-ringed birds has been very low - just a few new French birds (mostly from Gilles Le Guillou's project in Le Havre, Seine-Maritime), and a couple of birds from SW England. 1st Winter GBBGs remain surprisingly scarce amongst the flocks of adult and immature birds...maybe they just haven't arrived yet?
Both immature Norwegian-ringed birds seen this week are well-known birds which visit Guernsey frequently. I'm hoping the strong winds today may just stir things up a little!
GBBG Yellow 0.NN4 at Perelle, Guernsey (c) Anthony Loaring


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Portugal Trip Summary

Although I don’t have the ringing details back for all the colour-ringed LBBGs seen on my recent trip to the Algarve, a summary of the countries where the birds were originally ringed is as follows:-
The Channel Islands 31, The Netherlands 29, England 16, France 13, Germany nine, Belgium eight, Norway six, Portugal six, Spain five, Scotland five, Denmark three, Iceland two and Wales one. Grand Total = 134 LBBGs.
The high number of Guernsey birds reflects not only the strength of our gull research projects now, but also the fact that LBBGs from the Channel Islands tend to reach their wintering quarters ahead of gulls from further north, and that Iberia is the principal wintering region for our LBBGs, whereas for colonies further north a much higher percentage of birds winter further south in NW Africa.
Many of the gulls seen on this trip are building very valuable life histories for research projects across much of Western Europe.
The 26 colour ringed Yellow-legged Gulls seen in the Algarve were originally ringed in Portugal (17 ), Spain (eight) and Ceuta (Spanish territory in North Africa) (one) . The only cr Mediterranean Gull was from Vendée, France.

Gulls at Quarteira (c) PKV


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Another Wonderful Trip to Southern Portugal

I’m just back from a very enjoyable trip to the Algarve, Portugal, based near the gull haven of Quarteira, with its fishing port and sandy beaches. During my stay there were good flocks of LBBGs and Yellow-legged Gulls around, and I managed to take 219 gull colour ring reads – the vast majority (183) on LBBGs, with 35 Yellow-legged Gulls and just a single Mediterranean Gull. The LBBGs came from the usual very good spread of projects run in countries from Iceland, through Norway, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain and Portugal. However…the highlights for me were of course the 41 observations of 31 different LBBGs ringed in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, including one of this year’s chicks from Burhou, Alderney. Many of these GuernseyGulls show great site fidelity to this area of the Algarve in autumn/winter. My thanks to Michael Davis, who first discovered the Quarteira area as a fantastic place to observe gulls, and also for helping to make sure that I got the best from my most recent visit.

Gulls at Quarteira, Faro, Portugal (c) PKV