Thursday, 1 September 2016

September - CR House Sparrows!

September 27th

Sean Walsh Park in Tallaght is my lunchtime patch.  It has been 50 trips since 27H0 returned and until today apart from 1 metal ring there have been no other rings sighted.  However perseverance is the name of the game so yet again at lunch time I went. 

The numbers of Black Headed Gulls has continued to grow and there was a new darvic!  It is also from a project I am not familiar with.  Metal EZ64044 I think.  Didn't try very hard to read the metal as it had a coloured ring! I emailed the project coordinator and waited the reply 2 hours later I received an enthusiastic reply from the Brewood Ringing Group with a "Wow what a sighting for our first year of this project." it was ringed in England at the Marsh Lane Nature Reserve between Birmingham and Coventry.  A distance of 330km.





September 17th

While doing my I-Webs count on the Grand Canal I am always on the look out for my Coloured Ringed Swans as well as any other Colour Ringed birds.  Today on the Davitt Road I spotted a Green Ring on  Black Headed Gull.  It took me some time to photograph it as its ring was partially hidden by a gutter.  Eventually I got the full code.  J134.  Not only is it one I have not seen before, but it is a first sighting of the bird in Ireland!  As these birds are habitual and neither myself or Sean has seen it before, it is probably just passing through. I t will be interesting if Sean or I record it in Dublin again.


September 11th

I was out again in the morning trying to close more locations in the Swan nesting Census.  This year there was a large spread in hatching dates so many locations are not yet at 12 weeks!  At other locations I am having difficulty locating where they have moved to!
However in the afternoon I went to Sandycove to see what Mediterranean Gull were around.



PRN6 is a Polish Med Gull adult but only ringed last year.
 2X2A is a 2nd Calender year.
 RS96 is a 3rd Calender year.

September 10th

The deficit of Coloured Ringed Black Headed Gulls this month is not unusual.  I know they have arrived as some of them have been sighted roosting on Sandymount Starnd, but they haven't ventured inland yet.  Today while checking Swan families I saw 1000's of Black Headed Gulls mainly at coastal Estuaries, but only spotted 1 metal ring in the parks.  Poppintree Park is in Ballymun and the Gull was 3675.873. It is from Arnhem, Holland. Once again I had recorded it before on August 1st 2015!    August 2015 .
It was ringed in 2009 by Eelke Haagsma at Friesland in The Neatherlands.




I did stop at Broadmeadows, Swords and of the 83 adults present I recorded 31 coloured rings.  They were not all ringed there and they were ringed on the canals, Bray Harbour and in the Parks of Dublin and  Kildare.

September 5th

In Sean Walsh Park, still only the one Black Headed Gull with coloured ring, the ever present 27H0. The Juvenile EL65898 was there again today.  It is so distinctive that I spotted it on the lake and got it out on to land to verify the code!


September 4th

I went down to Tipperary to photograph CR House Sparrows. Sean Kingston has been conducting a RAS for some time and asked if I could photograph a few.  I was taken to different locations, rural and urban and saw plenty of Yellow rings, in fact there were plenty of House Sparrows with flocks of 100+.  Photographing them wasn't easy, I don't usually take photos of birds on feeders, but I certainly did today and I got enough photographs to keep him going. A small selection of photographs I took today are below.


House Sparrow + Yellow Ring.

House Sparrow with Yellow darvic ring. Templemore





Pest Control - House Sparrow BHK - eating Horse Flies


September 3rd

All the advanced planning of ringing activity always ends up at the mercy of the weather and today we met at 7:45 in torrential rain.  We decided to ring what Swans we could regardless of the rain.  At Sean Walsh Park the cygnets couldn't be tempted out but we did ring the remaining adult.  We carried on and ringed another adult in Tymon Park and 2 cygnets at the Spa Well lakes and 5 Cygnets in Tymon North.  2 Adult Mute Swans and 7 Cygnets coloured ringed was the total for the morning.  For a morning that was a wash out - very successful.  Many thanks to Alan, Sean, Nicola and Sandra.  Catching and ringing Swans really is a team effort.  


CATI and 4 un-ringed Cygnets in Sean Walsh Park


September 1st


There has been a complete lack of Coloured Ringed Gulls in the Parks of Tallaght.  Hopefully this has been caused by the fine weather and the gulls being over fed by children.  Today I spotted two  Metal rings on Black Headed Gulls.  I concentrated on the Juvenile as it was so distinctive.  It is about 5 weeks behind the other Juveniles in moult and looks like it fledged very late.

A lot of photos of the ring and the full code obtained.  Now the waiting game to find out there it was ringed.  It is a BTO ring so if it's your ring - let me know.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

August Coloured Rings

August 22nd

The answer to yesterdays question "Why hadn't I seen this bird before?" was option A. It was ringed only 66 days ago.  Just received verification from Poland.

August 21st

During this summer I am down on the number of Coloured Ringed Black Headed Gulls recorded and not for the lack of effort.  Sean has already recorded 6 individuals at the Sandymount Roost where as I had only recorded 1 - in Sean Walsh Park.  However, when following up on the Mute Swan Nesting Census I was in Bushy Park.  There were only 16 Black Headed Gulls present and I wasn't surprised to see a white Darvic as J1N4 from Norway uses this park.  I was however surprised when I realised there were 2 Black Headed Gulls with coloured rings present!  

J1N4 is from Sweden and has been coming to Ireland since it was Colour ringed 5 years ago.




TUUA is a Polish ring.  As the birds are habitual there are a number of possibilities.

A. It was recently ringed
B. It is just passing through and I will not see it again.
C. It has changed it behavior

Having been observing them for a few years I am opting for A - Recently ringed.  I have inputted the data into the Polish Web site and I will know in a few days.

August 20th Naas Ponds. National Heritage Week - Kildare.

I gave a free walk and talk on the Mute Swans of Kildare for National Heritage Week.  The weather was awful on Saturday but it picked up at 3pm.  After I had talked about the Swans and what we are learning from using coloured rings, with 6 other ringers we hand caught and ringed 11 cygnets and the remaining adult that we missed last year.
Then came the torrential rain again and we retreated for Coffee at (where else would we go) "Swans on the Green"

August 20th Bray Harbour

I was back at Bray Harbour to check on the recently Colour Ringed Swans.  They were again gathering to be fed by passers as usual.  I recorded 24 rings only 12 of which were ringed last week. There are still 30+ without coloured rings at this location and another ringing session is required.

In the photo below is CACD which was ringed in Tymon Park as a Cygnet last year and CABN which was ringed in Ballymount Park, both locations are about 20Km from Bray


August 14th

This morning we had a very successful Mute Swan Ringing session at Bray this morning with 18 more Swans added to the Coloured ring project.  

Please keep the sightings coming in mute.swan.ring"at"gmail.com

On the way home at Sandyford Industrial Estate I stopped to check for CR Mediterranean Gulls. There was only 1, 2XA5, but I also spotted a Herring Gull from The Isle of Man.  


August 13th

Sandycove yet again.  This time I was inspired by the fact that CR Sandwich Terns have been recently recorded there - no joy today.  However 61 med Gulls and 6 Coloured rings.
The photos may not be great today but the birds were 30m away.

Plenty of Sandwich Terns, Juveniles and adults but no Coloured ringed ones today.  Quite a few metal but impossible to read metals

I have included this German Mediterranean Gull AKAJ as I have seen it many times over the previous 4 years but more often 1km down the coast at Bullock Harbour

August 7th

Sandycove again on the way home from a Swan Recce.  You can never be sure what Med Gulls will be around.  Some are just passing through and only sighted once or twice a year.  Today among my new ring readings for the season was this white ring.  The ring is well over 12 years old and from Belguim.


August 6th pm


Sandycove.  Only 31 Mediterranean Gulls present.  It is great to watch the moult of individuals progress. See July 9th for another photo of RJN5!

However my bird of the afternoon was yet another new Med Gull 2XA8.  

Add caption

August 6th am

A trip to Howth Harbour to see what large Gulls are still around.  Only read 4 Coloured Rings, but great.


Great also to read a metal ring on a Great Black Backed Gull.  I hadn't seen HT85390 before but HT85358 was ringed in 2002, so it is probably a 15 year old.  I will have to wait and see what comes back from BTO.




August 3rd

In the Parks of Tallaght there is still only the one CR Black Headed Gull so far.  His dark hood has faded quickly.

August 1st


Trip to Broadmeadows to count and read Swans.  Only counted 141 which is 8 less than last time.  However I did read 32 of our coloured rings.  I need to start ringing Swans again.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

July 2016 - The Meds are back!

July 30th


At Bray today the Swan numbers were up to 50.  There was a metal ringed Swan I had not seen before, but discovered later it was only ringed last month.
At Dun Laoghaire, there were Mediterranean Gulls.  There have been 30 ringed individuals recorded in July already but I've only photographed 10 so far.

Mediterranean Gull 2X0J.  Ringed in Dublin

Mediterranean Gull AHLC Ringed in Germany

July 26th

At Sandycove there were Mediterranean Gulls and RE8T was new to me.  The schemes are so prompt at replying, that by the next morning I have the life histories.  It had been seen a couple of times in Dublin last year.
Mediterranean Gull - Ringed in France

Mediterranean Gull - From Poland
 However my bird of the day was my first Black Headed Gull of the Season.  W[27H0] was back in Sean Walsh Park from the UK.

July 22nd

My holiday in Kerry allowed me to watch birds I don't get in Dublin.  No rings to be seen again this year.


July 21st

I came across a moth that I didn't recognize.  Orange under wing.  So I took out the moth books and I am still none the wiser.  If you recognize it, please let me know!!!


July 19th

Holiday time and I was on Valentia Island in South West Ireland.  I am no expert on Gulls and this location always tries me.  There are no rings on any of the hundreds of Gulls so my time is spent often looking at the individual birds, all at different age and at various stages of moult.  Many of the Herring Gull sub Adults are so much darker than the ones I see in Dublin





Herring Gull 3rd Summer - This is what I call standard


July 16th

I have seen no coloured ringed Black Headed Gulls so far this season, so this morning I went to Howth Harbour to see what was around.  I read 11 rings in total between Great Black Backed and Herring Gulls.

Herring Gull 0LT was new to me but judging by the ring sequence, although an adult may have been ringed recently.


Herring Gull 0LV was also a first for me but again probably recently ringed

Great Black backed Gull 2AT I recorded on Irelands Eye last month. 2009

Great Black backed Gull 2EJ 2009

However this was my bird of the day.  It appeared only briefly.  Great Black Backed Gull 3HE is a 2013 bird.  It was also a first sighting for me.

Great Black backed Gull 3JU is a 2015 Great Black Backed that has appeared quite regularilly at this location.

July 10th

At Sandycove, Dun Laoghaire there was a big rowing regatta on, so all the Mediterranean Gulls had been displaced due to the crowds.  I found a few at the base of the East Pier and two were coloured ringed.  Both had been colour ringed in Dublin, but one has been observed in Portugal and the other in France.
Mediterranean Gull

Mediterranean Gull and 1st year in the background.

July 9th

A quick check at Sandycove this morning and there were 29 Mediterranean Gulls and 5 were coloured ringed. They were too far out and standing on Seaweed covered rocks to read the rings. Evertually a Great Black Backed Gull moved them and I read 4 rings.  A Med with a Red Darvic ring escaped my camera by flying out to sea.

Mediterranean Gull RJN5 from France

However bird of the day was a Mediterranean Gull 3KPT!  I had not seen this Dutch Med before.  In fact it was only seen once in Dublin before




July 6th

The number of Black Headed Gulls has shot up from 9 yesterday to 36 this lunch time, including the first juvenile of the year.  However these are probably just passing through


July 1st


The first few Black Headed Gulls have been seen in the Parks of Tallaght.  No signs of any rings yet to work out where these are from.