Tuesday, 19 January 2016

When an opportunity presents itself....

I am currently working on the 2015 Annual Report, which will hopefully bring the blog back up to date!

In the meantime, a quick post about a lucky encounter at the weekend.

On Sunday afternoon, I took our four-year-old to "feed the ducks" which is code for "check for ringed gulls" at Carrick.

We visited the harbour where I recorded a couple of NI-ringed birds, as well as a bonus in the form of an adult Ring-billed Gull. This bird has been visiting Carrick Harbour for a number of winters now and is always a nice year tick in January.

We moved on to another site in the town and as we were throwing bread into the water for the Mallards and keeping an eye on the pesky swans to make sure they didn't bump into the small boy, the Black-headed Gulls surrounded us. Checking for colour-rings, without success, I noticed a bird land on the railing beside me with a metal ring. I could tell it wasn't a BTO ring and, knowing my ringing gear was in the boot of the car, I started throwing a pile of bread closer to our feet. 

The ringed bird duly obliged and, despite being a bit rusty, I managed to catch it by hand. Upon checking the ring, I recognised the number as a German ringed bird which has been recorded at Carrick for a number of years. 

It has now been fitted with a NI-darvic which will make it much easier to record in the field and hopefully increase the number of reports of the bird...including perhaps back in Germany.