Monday, 14 January 2019

January 2019

January 5th

Got out birding to Broadmeadows Estuary.  Read 27 of the Mute Swans present.  Although my project uses data gathered between April and September, during the winter many return to the Estuary.  This allows me to record some birds, particularly those that have lost their coloured rings.

However, I am also on the lookout for anything else with coloured rings.  The Common Gull from Norther Ireland was recorded.   I first recorded it here in 2013 and although I haven't recorded it every year it is my 5th sighting at this location



I also spotted a colour Ringed Oystercatcher.  My camera captured the Code CC.  A poor photo but the code can be read.  This is my 2nd sighting of this scottish ringed individual, the other being September 2017.  What is also interesting is that there are only 3 Irish sightings.  Jan Rod is the only other person to have recorded it in Dublin.



January 4th

On the way back from the Airport, I took the coast road.  I read a few Brent which I spotted on the Beach at Portmarnock. They were some distance away but managed to capture the codes.
Brent DNBB and BTBB - a pair.

I also stopped at Fr Collins Park.  I love seeing all the gulls line up on the bridge railings.  However no sign of the Norwegian Green[J18J] this year.  It has always been a regular at this location.

Lining up for inspection - but no coloured rings!


January 3rd

A trip to Bray Harbour, primary goal was to record what Mute Swans are present.  But as always on the look out for Colour Ringed Gulls.  The first was a Black-headed Gull from Denmark White[9MT]

The 2nd Gull recorded was one of our Colour Rings.  Ringed on Irelands Eye, It "Mother" is Blue[OLR]!

Herring Gull 706:D at Bray Harbour

Herring Gull 706:D with Parent Blue [0LR]

January 1st


Another new year of ring reading.  I didn't get out birding today, but took a detour on the way home and stopped at Ben Madigan Park in Drimnagh.  There was 036:D sitting on it's favorite Crossbar.
I have sighted this individual at this location 3 times, so you would think this is where it spends it days.  However it has also been sighted at Howth 17km away.  It seems they have areas that they favour but they do move around.

Herring Gull 036:D - A gull from an Urban Nest site.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

December 2018 - Great month for rings!

31st December

Last ringed bird of the year was in Tymon Park, Spawell, a repeat sighting of the metal ring from Flintshire in England. (Which is near Chester).   It was not a first sighting for EZ90582. I recorded it at the same location in August. 



30th December

Bird of the day was going to be a Norwegian Black-headed Gull JC38.  Ringed in 2014 as an adult, it was not seen back in Norway during the Summer, so the last previous sighting was also mine on 25/02/2018!


However bird of the day was a mute swan that was missing its coloured ring!

Metal ring W40464 used to be CASS and was ringed in 2016.  However in February 2017, the colour ring was reported as damaged and it hadn't been recorded since.  This now becomes a priority bird to re-catch and put a new colour on.  Without the colour ring the chances of it being recorded by someone (other than me) is extremely unlikely.
Read some Brent in Ben Madigan Park on the way home but the grass is very long which makes it difficult!

Brent B4BW - Took 30 photos to be sure of the code!
But my day was still not over!  Passing Sandyford in the afternoon, there is a building that Gulls favour.  A quick check and a Great Black-backed with a blue ring 1EJ.  This year all the sightings of 1EJ are north of Dublin - about 35Km north of this re-sighting location.  It shows what a wide area they can cover
Great Black-backed gull 1EJ in Sandyford Industrial Estate.

29th December

A Saturday morning trip to Howth is usually rewarded with lots of coloured rings.  But today was unseasonably warm 12 degrees and there were only 20 Gulls as opposed to the usual 100's.  There were 2 colour ringed Juvenile Great Black-backed Gulls, both from Irelands Eye.





With not many Gulls around I went off and read some Brent and Swans.

Brent 2KWB and 2SWB at Portmarnock

27th December

Back at work means another lunchtime trip to Sean Walsh Park.  The fountain is off and Black-headed Gull numbers are up again to seasonal norm.  No new coloured rings at the main lakes so I tried the Stadium Lake.  I spotted a juvenile with a yellow coloured ring.  I assumed it was 2A88 from the North Thames Group again, but it was EA10.  This is a Belguim code and I await the details of this new Gull.

Black-headed Gull.  Yellow[EA10] from Belguim

25th December 2018.  Christmas day

A walk on the Grand Canal at Portabello produced 8 Mute Swan Rings but no Colour Ringed Gulls among the 40 Juveniles and 12 adults.  Heading home I stopped at Ben Madigan Park.  There was a large flock of Brent Geese but the grass was also very long.  148:D was the only Colour Ringed Gulls!  I did manage to eventually read a pair of Brent, but gave up on the rest!


22nd December

I went to Sandycove to read Med Gulls, but 50 Scuba Divers in Santa Costumes meant not many birds around.  It looked like a fund day, but I cut my losses and headed for Bray Harbour.  The tide was quite high but there were over 100 gulls on the beach.  A scan revealed no colour rings.  But there were 33 Swans and some of them were out of the water so I started recording the rings.  Then I saw my first Colour Ringed Herring Gull, 677:D.  This is an Urban Herring Gull from a nest on a building in Dublin. Only the 3rd sighting and the 2nd at Bray Harbour.


I went back to waiting for Swans to come onto the beach when I spotted the 2nd gull ring of the day.  This was an Isle of Man Great Black-backed Gull.


More gulls arrived on the beach and the next one spotted bore only a metal ring.  60 photos later I had the full code!  The ring series I don't think belongs to our club so I can assume it is foreign. GV61797.  I have reported it through DEMON and I will know in a few days.



Shortly after this one the 4th Ring was noted!  039:D is another Urban Gull!  But this is a first sighting.


When I spotted a ring on a herring Gull sitting on a roof, I assumed it was probably one of the 2 I had already recorded, but a photo revealed it was yet another of our project Herring Gulls.  791:D was ringed on Irelands Eye last summer.  It is only the 2nd sighting having been recorded last week at Dun Laoghaire.


Not a bad hours ring reading.  5 Gulls, 2 Foreign, 2 Urban and 1 Island.  I also recorded 11 Mute Swan Rings.

18th December 2018

I did my weekly trip to Grangecastle Business Park.  The trips have been disappointing of late but today I got 1 red ring.  127:D was ringed 2017 year on Irelands Eye, an Island off Dublin, 26 Km from the re-sighting. It has been 363 days since it has been recorded and that too was at Grangecastle Business Park.

Herring Gull 127:D

16th December

I stopped by Blachardstown IT lake.  I note one of the pair of Swans has gone missing.  These are a residential Pair so I can only assume it is no more!  The other wouldn't come near the banks so I don't know if it is CAHK or CAJA that is "Missing".

Black-headed Gull White[J5TZ] I recored here last winter.  Ringed in Norway in 2013, mine was the first foreign sighting since 2014 when it was sighted once in England.  These Gulls are so habitual, I thought if I went to this pond I would record it again.  It took me 1 minute to locate it!  There have been 13 sightings back in Norway since I last recorded it.


15th December

Storm Deirdre and horrible weather, but as I didn't  do the I-WEBS count last week end, I had to do it this week end.  A 7 Km walk along the Grand Canal, for much of it, it rained heavily!  I didn't get much of a chance to read rings.  There are 88 Mute Swans on this stretch of the Grand Canal at the moment, with 75 being at Portobello Harbour.  I only read 13 Mute Swan rings as I was concentrating on counting Wildfowl and Gulls.  However I did take my camera out when a Heron in the Reeds had a colour Ring!  O[K21] was ringed in the Phoenix Park a couple of years ago.  I have recorded it using this stretch of the Canal before - but only once before


At Grand Canal Basin, after I had completed the count, I went to see Herring Gull 699:D - our most reported Herring Gull!  Despite only being ringed only this year it has separate 26 observations on the data base, mainly at this location.  Sure enough it was there!


However, it wasn't the only colour ring at this location!  Great Black-backed Gull 1AV was also present.  Ringed in 2010, it the the 7th sighting on the database.  The last sighting was by Jan in September at Skerries Beach 28Km north of this location.



14th December

This week in Sean Walsh Park, it has been a week of - "The Usual Suspects".  The usual  Black-headed Gulls with Colour Rings and the Metal ringed Swedish Juvenile all showing daily.  Black-headed Gull, Black[X25P] (See November 20th) appeared again, but is not a park regular.  Herring Gull 010:D appears occasionally on various building around the park.  Although I haven't been close for a good photo, the record shots are showing the appearance of Grey feathers!  It will be a 3rd year in 17 days time!  This is an Urban Gull from the roof of a hospital


9th December

I went to Booterstown Strand.  After scanning the high tide roosting Gulls and recording no rings, I concentrated on other species.  There were 50+ Brent but they were mainly in shallow water.  Eventually among those that ventured onto land there were 2 with rings. Brent XTBY may be a first sighting this Winter.  The Brent database is being "migrated" to a web based reporting system so for the moment there may be sightings not yet input. 9XBY was also recoreded.


I then concentrated on the Oystercatchers.  They were so tightly packed together and being careful not to disturb them it was a slow process reading what I could.


I recorded 9 from the Dublin Bay Project, but I could see foreign Colour schemes.  However most were standing on 1 leg and half a code is no good!  Photographing from 40m you could see rings.  Move a couple of feet to see if the other leg was visible and then being unable to relocate it!  Really frustrating.  Eventually a low flying Gull spread them out a bit, but still the same issue.


Yellow over red is visible with a white coded ring which I never got to read!  ZD and AA in the foreground.


Again a foreign ringed Oystercatcher, but again on one leg.  AAARRRRRGGGGHH!

I had to make do with recording locally ringed ones!

Oystercatcher ZS.

6th December

The Council drained the "Hippo" lake again.  This time not to clean but I think to mend the fountain again!  Lots of Black-headed Gulls but no new rings recorded.


2nd December

After a morning of ringing Passerines, I stopped at the Liffey where there were over 100 Gulls.  Despite so many Juveniles, there were none of our Red rings.  The only colour was the Great Black-backed Gull 1LL.  This was ringed on Irelands Eye in 2011.




1st December


Heading for Howth Harbout and stopped at Baldoyle.  About a dozen Brent Geese on the foreshore and first ring of the day!  Ringed in Iceland and although seen in Strangford lough recently, first sighting in Dublin.


Howth Harbour

Arriving at Howth Harbour it looked like it would be a good morning and it was!  Our red ringed gulls was the prime objective.  Great Black-backed Gulls 336:D, 353:D, 401:D, 412:D, 448:D and 452:D were recorded and photographed.  Also Herring Gull 753:D making 8 of our project birds.

Herring Gull 753:D.  The only ringed Herring Gull from Irelands Eye

GBBGU 448:D.  A first sighting since ringed

452:D Another from Ireland Eye.  I've recorded it at Broadmeadows but 1st time at Howth Harbour
 There were also Gulls present from other Projects.  This is one from the Isle of Man
This Great Black-backed Gull is from the Isle of Man!  S58:M
Great Black-backed Gull 1TN.

Bull Island

Brent Goose C9WW.  Over 100 sightings over the last 10 years, but this is the first sighting ever in Dublin!!!   This goose usually winters in Northern Ireland, will it go back to Dundrum Bay or Killough?


Brent Goose INRR, at least it is where it is expected to be at this time of year



Brent 6BWW.  Ringed this year in Iceland.  First recorded sighting since



Seagrange Park

Stopped at Seagrange Park on the way home.  The grass was too long to read the Oystercatchers and the Brent Geese, but there were a couple of hundred Godwits?  Should be able to read them, even if the grass hadn't been cut.

However first Colour ring I spotted was an Oystercatcher.  Trying to photograph it as it walked eventually proved successful.  4C  is a Dublin Bay Project Ring but I've not seen numbers used before on the codes.

Add caption
This Leucistic Oystercatcher should have it's own re-sighting page.  Nice to see it is back this year!


Black-tailed Godwit RO-OZ was my surprise of the day.  I have seen it a number of times over the years but not this far north.
RO//OZ ringed in Iceland in 2015  - Thank you Boddi

Monday, 5 November 2018

November - CR Gulls - A First East German Black Darvic!

November 30th

Plenty of Gulls in the Parks and the weather has started to turn cold.  Eight Degrees at lunch time.  A metal ringed Black-headed Gulls appeared with a BTO ring.  It wouldn't stay still, but I continued to try and photograph the ring.  Not my best photos but code read.  EG79607.  At present all I know is that it is 9 years old.  I will await the sighting report, but it looks like a first sighting in those 9 years.



Recent Recoveries.

On November 22nd I recorded 2 adult Black-headed Gulls with metal rings.
EZ09042 was only ringed in 2017, as an Adult Westport Lake, Staffordshire, UK. This is near Stoke-on-Trent. This is about 280 Km away


EZ90582 was also ringed in 2017. Although it is now in full adult plumage, the orange legs gave it away as a 2nd year. Ringed in the nest at Shotton, Flintshire, UK, which is near Liverpool and only 220 Km away

November 25th

I got an hour on Sandymount Strand.  I missed high tide so was not expecting anything really.

There were 5 Brent Geese and I recorded my first Brent rings of the winter.  KKBY.  Ringed in 2015, I last sighted it in February 2018


I was relying on using 84X Zoom on my camera and the light was poor, but I persevered checking distant birds. I read an Oystercatcher and another of our Red Rings!

Herring Gull 120:D is an Urban Gull.  7 Months since last recorded

Oystercatcher PF. Ringed in 2014 as an Adult.  I hadn't recorded it for over 1 year.  Not sure if anyone else has?

November 24th

No birding today, but I did stop at Ben Madigan Park for 5 minutes.  Two of our red rings present.  The same two as usual - 264:D and 148:D.  Nothing surprising or so I thought.  However, 148:D was last photographed on Skerries Beach 30 Km north of here!  


Herring Gull 264:D

November 22nd

Lunch time trip to Tymon Park, where I expected to see the Polish Black-headed Gull Yellow[T96W].  On arrival there were only a dozen black-headed Gulls.  This quickly grew to about 30.  Two metal ringed adults landed.  Luckily one was a 2nd year with orange legs the other at least 3 years with Red legs.  So I stated photographing.  Despite poor light I captured both Codes.  EZ90582 was one I recorded at the same location in August from Flintshire (Near Liverpool), the other was EZ09042, new to me.


Black-headed Gull EZ90582 - Orange legs!


Black-headed Gull EZ09042 - Red legs!


I was just leaving when T96W made a brief appearance

Black-headed Gull from Poland


November 20th

First day of real "Winter weather" - 3 degrees and sleet.  Short trip to the park and I was just leaving when I couldn't decide if a Black-headed Gull in the Grass was Colour Ringed or not.  I went around the lake to find an adult with a Black Darvic starting with X which makes it from Eastern Germany.  Not having recorded this one before or indeed any from this scheme, I can only assume it was recently ringed.  I am awaiting the re-sighting report from Germany.



November 19th

At Lunch time one of our Red Rings in the Park.  695:D.  It turns out I saw it there on November 6th.  Oh well.  The usual suspects around as regard CR Black Headed Gulls.


November 17th

Bray Harbour this morning after my sons match.  100' of gulls, but no rings, not even a metal!  This afternoon I tried Sandyford Industrial Estate, not a Gull to be seen, so I went to Sandycove, Dun Laoghaire, just to read some Mediterranean Gulls.  Those recorded are ones ringed in Dublin while wintering in previous years.  Their life history reports are quite extensive.
Mediterranean Gull 2XK5.  Ringed as 2nd year in 2016

Mediterranean Gull 2X0E.  Ringed 2017 as a 2nd year

Mediterranean Gull 2XA6.  Ringed 2011 as a 1st Year. 

Mediterranean Gull 2X0E.  Ringed 2017 as a Juvenile
 I moved on to the base of the East Pier and was delighted to see a Juvenile German ringed Mediterranean Gull from Leipzig.
Mediterranean Gull Juvenile from Germany
It landed again near me and suddenly there were 2 German Juveniles!  AYKL is not one I have seen before!


I spotted a Metal on a Black-headed Gull and so the process of trying to record the code began.  61 photographs later I finally got the first 2 digits "ST".  Ringed in Finland in 2010 I have recorded it a number of times since at the same location.
Black-headed Gull ST283.477 from Finland.


November 14th

Grangecastle Business Park is 7 Km from Sean Walsh Park, and occassionally I head there at lunch time to read the Swans and Gull rings.  Today was one of those days and plenty of Gulls to check.   I spotted 1 with a red ring.  629:D is an Urban Herring Gull ringed in the City Center.  Checking the data base, I was the last person to see it on September 28th in Sean Walsh Park!

Herring Gull 629:D

November 13th

More changes in Sean Walsh Park!  Lake 2 or the Stadium Lake has been drained for a clean up.  This has been badly needed for the last couple of years.  The debris catcher at the entrance to the lake has been inefficient and lake is not just silted up but also full of rubbish!

Sean Walsh Park, Lake 2

November 12th

The fountain at lake 5 has been turned off and the numbers of Black Headed Gulls increased.  However, just the 2 colour rings and the Swedish metal ring among them.  No sign of the Swedish Gull 6430814!  Ringed in 2010, this Black-headed Gull has always appeared in the first 2 weeks of November.  Hopefully it will show soon.

Black-headed Gull 27H0 from England


Black-headed Gull 2ACA - Ringed here last year.


November 6th

At Sean Walsh Park at Lunchtime, I spotted a Herring Gull with a red Ring.  695:D is an Urban Gull from a nest on the roof of a City Center Hospital.  A 2nd sighting since it fledged.
I thought I saw Black-headed Gull 2ACB on a lamp post but it was raining so hard the camera wouldn't focus.  This would have been a first sighting since returning from Scotland.  Something to look out for in the coming days!


November 1st


I took a mid week trip to Howth Harbour.  A bright day with only a light breeze, it should have been excellent for reading rings.  The Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls ringed on the Island 2km from Howth are not being recorded and this was my opportunity to read as many as possible.  Although the weather was great and plenty of Gulls about, I only spotted 1 Red ring and 2 Blue rings!  Great Black-backed Gull, Red 412:D was recorded for a 2nd time at Howth Harbour, but it was ringed on St Patricks Island 22Km north of the Harbour.

Adult Herring Gulls 0LT and 0MC were both ringed as adults, so not sure if either are from the Ireland's Eye Colony



I left disappointed and went to the Bull Island.  Here I observed Red 053:D.  It is a 2nd year Urban Herring Gull.  I finally spotted 0LM.  Ringed as an adult on Irelands Eye in 2016.  A rather poor show.  I am getting in sightings of our Red Rings from as far away as Isles of Scilly, Northern Ireland, Wales etc but there just seems to be so few left in Dublin!!

In the afternoon a trip to Dun Laoghaire was hampered by poor light.  I did spot 2 yellow Ringed Med Gulls in a flock of 16.  But the light was failing and the photos don't do these Gulls justice