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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Two More LBBGs to Africa and another Herring Gull in Spain

Amongst the steady flow of interesting reports of our colour ringed gulls I recently received new of another two LBBGs in Morocco, and a Herring Gull that regularly winters in Northern Spain. On consecutive days Ruth Gorria reported LBBG Black 2AJ6 from Sidi-Moussa, Oualidia and B9CA8 from El Jadida, Morocco. Both birds had been ringed as adults at Chouet landfill (the first in May 2011 and the second in May 2013). Although B2JA6 has been observed in Guernsey on a number of occasions since, Ruth’s observation in Morocco was the first report of this bird outside the Channel islands. The observation of B9CA8 in Morocco is the first report of this bird since ringing.
These observations are of considerable interest because although the majority of Channel Islands’ nesting LBBGs winter in Iberia, a minority travels further into Africa. I have seen a number of our birds in December at Anza, near Agadir, but the coastal areas of northern Morocco (where I believe CI birds are most likely to be) receive very little attention from gull watchers. It would be really useful to mount an expedition to this area to see if this theory is supported by further evidence.
Herring Gull White 7CJ5 (ringed as an adult female in May 2011 at Chouet Landfill) breeds in the Channel Islands, but has now been reported from the coasts of Asturias, Spain in each of the last three winters. It has been observed in Guernsey every summer since ringing!
LBBG B2AJ6 at Chouet Landfill Aug 2012 (c) PKV

Herring Gull W7CJ5 at Banugues, Asturias, Spain - 14 January 2014 (c) José Antonio Canal


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