On my first ever trip abroad reading gull colour rings (in January 2009 to the Algarve, Portugal) I found a single Guernsey-ringed bird - and was absolutely thrilled to have done so. It seemed to me like finding a needle in a haystack - something truly awe-inspiring. Since then I've been very fortunate to undertake ring reading trips in Morocco, Portugal, Spain and France, and the thrill of finding my birds abroad has never left me!
It was unimaginable to me when the pioneer gull ring readers Peter Rock and Harry Vercruijsse made trips to Portugal and came back with almost 100 sightings of Guernsey birds. In fact Peter established a record this October when he came back with 102 sightings...the first person ever to break the century mark.
I'm still in very pleasant shock from my recent two week trip to Portugal (Matosinhos to Sines) when I took 156 records of Guernsey and Alderney-ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls. This included a simply staggering day at Eirol Landfill with Tim van Nus and Pedro Moreira when we observed 61 of our birds (amongst a record-breaking day for the site of c 140 gull colour ring reads). Of course this is only possible due to all the help on the ground (before and/or during my trip) from fellow gull enthusiasts (Peter Rock, Inocencio Oliveira, Paulo Faria, Malcolm Millais, Tim van Nus, Pedro Moreira and others).
Of course I also observed many gulls from other projects based in Northern and Western Europe and I hope to get all these records to the project leaders next week. For now I should like to record my deep gratitude for everyone who helped to make this last trip totally awesome! This one really is going to be very hard to beat!!!
|Gulls at Eirol Landfill|
|A Very Happy PKV - Maybe This Really is As Good as it Gets!|
|Guernsey-ringed Black 2.X0 at Eirol|
|A few White Storks to Add variety (but wait for the photos from Vil de Matos Landfill Next Week!)|
|Tim van Nus and Pedro Moreira who undertake very valuable gull observations at Eirol|
|Black 8V6 (another Guernsey bird)|
|LBBG Black 5CS7 another Alderney youngster!|