Friday, 12 August 2016

First reports of ringed first-winter birds coming in

As juveniles disperse their natal colonies, we're starting to receive sightings of ringed first-winter birds away from the main study sites.

To date we have got word of two birds colour-ringed at Castle Espie, 2CCH and 2CBD, which have dispersed to Lurgan Park in Armagh and the RSPB reserve at Belfast Lough respectively.

2CCH at Lurgan Park, August 2016
Photo by Suzanne Belshaw

Green - Ringing location
Orange - Re-sighting locations

Gary also got our first record of a bird ringed at Inch this summer....almost!

He photographed the bird below at Portrush during the week which was fitted with a metal ring from the series we know we used at Inch in Co. Donegal this year.

Metal ringed first-winter Black-headed Gull at Portrush, August 2016
Photo by Gary Platt

It was, however, one of the 43 birds caught by Causeway Coast Ringing Group during the first visit to the colony, when only metal rings were used (see here). Unfortunately before Gary could read the end of the ring number the bird was scared off by walkers.

This highlights the benefits of colour-ringing as it would have taken only a couple of seconds for Gary to read the much more visible code on the plastic rings. We do like a challenge though and I'm sure the same guy will try again!!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Hopefully the first of many....

We received our first report of a "Northern Irish" colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull at the weekend when Neal Warnock photographed 2XJ9 at Glenarm, Co. Antrim. 

This was one of four Med Gull chicks ringed on Blue Circle Island back in June (see here) as part of an all-Ireland project co-ordinated by Sean Kingston in Dublin.

Photo by Neal Warnock

It may not have moved far, just over 20km, but hopefully this is only the first of many re-sightings. Re-sightings which will allow us to build up a picture of where young Mediterranean Gulls born in Ireland move off to once they leave their natal colony.

Many thanks to Neal for the report and photo.