Sunday, 5 August 2018

August 2018 Terns - Sterna hirundo with colour rings.

15th August

In Tymon park today I was looking out for a Polish Black-headed Gull Yellow [T96W].  I was just leaving when it showed up briefly.  It was ringed in 2017 and I recorded it at this location 3 times last winter.

However, bird of the day goes to the following Black-headed Gull with a metal ring as it took 61 photos to get the last digit!  Ringed in 2017, I am awaiting the details of this new to me Gull.

BLHGU Metal Ring EZ90582

BLHGU Metal Ring EZ90582
I stopped at Sandymount Strand on the way to meet some friends and recorded just one Colour Ring in the fading light.  Sunset 20:55 today.  Another Polish Black-headed Gull.

Another Polish Black-headed Gull Yellow[T6TL]

12th August

At the 40 Foot, in Dun Laoghaire, there was a high tide roost of Terns and Mediterranean Gulls.  Bird of the day was a Mediterranean Gull White[3289].  I've never seen it before and it is not showing on my list of Meds recorded in Dublin.  I assume it is Belgian.  I have reported it and I'll update when data received.


There were 2 other colour ringed meds present - Green AKAJ from Germany and Red PRN6 from Poland.  However I started going through the Terns.  Only one colour located.  The legs are so short it took a while to read it as 1 digit was covered by feathers!

Common Tern Juvenile - Blue 3P2.
I thought I recorded a Rockabill Metal Tern ring A over 7, but it should be 2 digits over 2 digits, so incomplete -  the Roseate Tern that got away.


Every year at Bullock Harbour the Black Headed Gull 6214578 gets harder and harder to read.  The ring has gone from poor to really bad this year - hardly legible.  Ringed in 2005 in Sweden.  Today sections of the ring looked blank.  Photo below is 2015 and todays photo 2018!  It's not out of focus just worn.


At Sandyford Industrial Estate I got 1 of our red Ringed gulls.  187:D is an urban Gull ringed on teh roof of a Dublin Hospital.  This is a first sighting


11th August

Human behaviour is different at the weekend.  There are matches on the Football pitches.  The school playgrounds are empty.  So Gull behavior is also different and it is good to look in Sean Walsh Park at the weekend.  Today Red 23L4, Green 2ABA and a Juvenile Black-headed Gull with a tall metal ring!  The metal ring was taller than a BTO metal so I knew it would be from further afield.

Black-headed Gull - Stockholm 6456000
 It took a while to get the ring code - it was from Sweden.  It will be interesting if it is seen mid week from now on.


9th August

The big news of the day is the safe return of Black Headed Gull WB[E5VA].  Having first Arrived in January 2012 as a Juvenile, it is good to see it back from Holland for another Winter.


6th August

Where are all my Swans gone!  Out again looking for Colour Ringed Mute Swans.  I am about 100 below what I expected to re-sight this year.  Between myself and Tonya we recorded about 50 rings, but only 3 to add to this years survival totals.  The rest of August will be mainly focused on trying to find some of the missing Swans.

However, bird of the day goes to this Polish Black-headed Gull.  Yellow[T2RW].  The Polish Website appears to be down for maintenance, so hopefully I will get some details tomorrow.

Polish Black-headed Gull, Yellow[T2RW]

Surprise of the day was the resighting of the Common Gull from Northern Ireland, Blue [2ACV].  Having first sighted it in 2013, it is the 3rd sighting at this location.  It has been recorded back in Northern Ireland.

Common Gull, Blue [2ACV]


5th August 

Today I went to the South Wall of the Liffey in Dublin.  Hundreds of terns gather on the railings.  They are a small bird and their colour rings are tiny.  However, I was able to read 4 of them.  All 4 happened to be ringed in Dublin, but I expect to get some from England and Scotland and some in Dublin have been record from further afield,  post breeding is a good time to check the huge flocks

Common Tern LBYN[PNN] - Dublin Bay Scheme
The photos aren't great, but the distance and the fact I had to stand on a wall to see their legs meant no tripod, the follow photo shows what I was looking at.


Common Tern PCY

Tern Blue PS7

Common Tern Juvenile 3P7  - Dublin Port Project

This morning in Sean Walsh Park, a metal ringed adult Black Headed Gull appeared.  Quickly out with the camera and recorded it's metal ring.  What a surprise! HA23459.  This Lithuanian Gull I haven't seen since March 2016.

3rd August

Black Headed Gull round up!

Red 23L4 from the English Midlands has remained present in Sean Walsh Park since it's arrival on July 27th.


27H0 from Gloucestershire arrived back on Juky 31st and is also present most days.


The last one to make up the trio which are ever present is Green 2ACA.  Ringed in Sean Walsh Park last year.
Black-headed Gull 2ACA with a filthy ring.  The letters use to be white!

1st August
BIrd of the day goes to Herring Gull 644:D.  Ringed in June in St James Hospital it is the first of this years urban gulls to be recorded away from its nest site.  I got a photo and it promptly sat down, so this is the only photo I got!

Juvenile Herring Gull 644:D

Monday, 2 July 2018

July 2018 - Mediterranean Gulls are back

July 28th

At Sandycove, the first Colour Ring observed was a Juvenile Sandwich Tern with one of it's parents.  YN[KIP] was ringed last Month at the Colony of Lady's Island in Wexford.  It is fascinating to see them all move North before the migrate south to Africa.  (Photo on 60x Zoom and cropped  - so not a great photo!)



Among the 40 Med Gulls was this colour Ring that hadn't been recorded in Dublin before?  The life History has been received, almost instantaneously, and it was ringed in 2017 and observed in Wexford last Winter.  A first sighting for Dublin, though it was ringed as an adult so may have been here before.





Tymon Park this afternoon had one med gull and it was colour ringed.  2X3A was ringed in 2014 and had been seen in Spain France and the UK.  It is probably a French Breeding bird but it is as yet unconfirmed.

27th July 2018

This is a funny time of year.  Whereas some of the sea birds are still with young chicks, the Cygnets are getting close to ringing size and the first foreign juveniles and adult small gulls are already back for "Winter"

Today in Sean Walsh Park, I recorded my first 2 black headed gulls of the "Winter".  I will have to see if this Juvenile is passing through or will stay for the winter,

Red 23L4 is from just north of Birmingham at a new Colony at Belvide Reservoir
However, bird of the day is Black-headed Gull 2ACA.  The appearance of this gull, 150 days after last sighting is the start of the Winter for me.  Hard to grasp when it is 25 degrees.

2ACA returned today.

15th July

A trip to the Great Skellig off Co Kerry was a wonderful mornings birding.  Since they filmed Star Wars there is is harder to get on a boat as they have limited landings per day.  My bird of the day goes to a CR Kittiwake which was ringed in France.


However no trip to the Skelligs is complete with out mentioning the Thousand of Puffins, the are everywhere during teh breeding season and you can get withing about 5 foot (1.5m) of them!





8th July

Another full day on Irelands Eye.  I was mainly checking on the recently ringed Gull Chicks!  These Great Black-backed juveniles were ringed last week and are close to fledging.

Likewise it will not be long till the Herring Gulls all fledge.  There were a few of both species which were already flying

Fantastic close views can be had of many species.  Puffins, Guillemots, Bridled Guillemots, Cormorant, Shag, Gannets to name a few.  This Razorbill landed very close and stayed while I was having a break.
 I almost read my first Shag ring - 143131 - But I think it is missing a number!  Close.  This year they are being colour ringed to make it easier to record their survival.

However, bird of the day was an adult Great Black-backed Gull.  Ringed in July 2013, I recorded it 4 times during that year but this is the first sighting since then!

7th July

A few Med Gulls have been turning up in Tallaght and I managed to read 2 in Ballycragh Park on Thursday.  So today I went to Sandycove a Med Gull hot-spot.  Over 30 present and 5 were colour ringed.

White [3YJJ] was ringed as an adult in Belguim!


Green [RS96] was ringed in France


Yellow [2X9A] was ringed in Dublin


Yellow [2X9J] was ringed in Dublin


Yellow [2XA4] was ringed in Dublin

I look forward to the re-sighting reports to see where they have been since I last observed them. I am not even sure if I have seen 2X9J before!

July 4th

Looking at the continued results from the old project birds, I am happy with the number of sightings I am getting.  Today at Grange Castle Business Park I spotted 041:D.  Ringed last year on Irelands Eye, it is a first sighting for the project.

Herring Gull 041:D at Grange Castle Business Park

July 1st


Spent most of the day on Irelands Eye.  With Puffins, Cormorants, Shags, Razorbills, Guillemots and of course Gulls.  The results were outstanding.  I will start with a reasonable photo of 0LV.  It was ringed in 2016 as an adult and has been recorded 14 times since either on the Island or at Howth.

Next is 0EA. Ringed in 2010 is went unobserved for 5 years before being recorded breeding last year.


Although taken from some distance 0HL was a surprise! Awful photo but I had to include it.  Ringed in 2010, It was last recorded in 2012.  This one has gone unrecorded for 6 years!!!


Herring Gull 0AC went unrecorded between 2009 and 2016.  This is the 3rd year in a row that it has been recorded at the breeding colony


However this poor quality photo was the bird of the day.  Great Black-backed Gull 2CM was ringed in 2009.  This is the first sighting on the database since it was ringed!  



However, as we progressed though the Island we colour ringed some more Gulls to enable ongoing survival and dispersal data to be obtained on the Islands population.  


A great day with 8 Herring Gull Rings and 1 Great Black-backed ring recorded as well as 3 of last years gulls - Red Rings.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

June 2018

June 27th

In Sean Walsh Park, there were 2 Black Headed Gulls on Monday.  (I assumed failed breeder).  However by Wednesday the number had swelled to 210 with 6 Juveniles also present!  This means the breeding season is over and the arrival of wintering birds!  Hard to comprehend during a heatwave.




The Council are also draining the big lake.  There were over 200 Black-headed Gulls on the mud - but no rings yet this season.

Big lake in Sean Walsh Park!



June 25th

In my local Park in Tallaght, Sean Walsh Park, Herring Gull 180:D was present.  The last time it was sighted was in Ardglass in Northern Ireland.  This is the first record of a juvenile that dispersed returning to Dublin.  It was ringed on Irelands Eye in 2017.


June 24th

First Recce trip to Ireland's Eye.  None of last years Juveniles, but that is to be expected.  I did get the following.
4 Herring Gulls with Blue Irish Rings
4 Great Black-backed with Blue Irish Rings
1 Herring Gull with an English Ring
2 Colour Ringed Cormorants

2HK - Never recorded in Howth, but it bred in 2017 and again in 2018
The purpose of the trip was to see how large the chicks were, but this Herring Gull surprised me as it is not one of ours.  Ringed in England in 2006 as an Adult.  It has been recorded there 9 times since but is breeding on Irelands Eye.


The Cormorant Colonies are not easy to observe but I recorded 2 Colour Rings.  I don't record many of this species.


The Puffins always look like a painting.  Only 2 nests observed.


June 22nd

Where are all our Juvenile Gulls?  Last year we Colour Ringed 250 Juveniles in Dublin and I am observing and receiving sightings of very few in Dublin.  Last years Lesser Black-backed Gulls are still in Spain and Portugal with two sightings this week.  However, today at Grangecastle Business Park, I did spot a Juvenile Herring Gull, Red 054:D.  Ringed on Irelands Eye last year, it has been sighted only once before, by me, at the same location in February 2018.  I have visited the location about 20 times since then and it hasn't been around!


June 16th

Slowly the nesting stage for the mute Swans is coming to an end.  Broombridge Station nest has 6 cygnets.  It was 2 weeks since I last saw the nest and they look about 10 days old.



June 12th

The Tolka Valley Park nest was abandoned last time I checked and the nest record had to be classified as outcome unknown.  However Vincent found a family of Swans 500m down river and the ring on the male confirmed that the 4 cygnets are from that nest, so another success.

June 10th

I received an email from Niall last Thursday with a sighting of 8 Cygnets on the Tolka River at Annesley Bridge.  I was passing today and there are still 8.  Never found a nest on the Tolka but good to see a clutch of 8 doing well.  Both parents are un-ringed which makes me think it could be the pair that nested last year at Fagans Pub further up river.


June 9th

My local nest has finally Hatched.  As both parents only hatched in 2016 they are very very young.  So, Tymon North, 3 cygnets is now added.  Took a while to get a count as they were all on her back.




Tymon Park hatched today.  Both parents are age code 7


3rd June 2018

23.00 - Just been informed of 3 cygnets on Balcarrick Golf Club.  I will have to investigate and see if the parents can be identified

Received text that there are 7 Cygnets in Dublin Zoo, Africans Plain lake.  Great to here they were successful this again.  I will have to see if they are teh ringed pair or a different pair.

Following a report last night that the Grangecastle nest had hatched 5 Cygnets and 1 egg remaining, I went to check it out.  The last egg is abandoned and still 5 cygnets with the pen on the water.  The male is not doing it's job.  Over concerned with other Swans in the top lake, it is ignoring the Gulls and other predators near the nest.  Hopefully, she will do a great job on her own!

Grangecastle Business Park.  CAKC bringing cygnet back to the nest for a rest.
Broadmeadows.

Difficult to work out what is happening here with 4 nests in close proximity.  What I can tell is that there was a Female with 6 cygnets under the Motorway bridge.  She is un-ringed which doesn't help!

Broadmeadows - They look about 2 weeks old.

I have walked many kilometers up and down the Canal banks.  On June 2nd there were Common Bluet Damselflies in abundance on the Grand Canal.  I rarely post anything that is not avian related but here is one photo!  (Male is Blue and Female green).