Saturday, 2 November 2013

November 2013 - New Darvic in my Park

November 30th

At Bullock Harbour this morning there was a large flock of Greater Black Backed, Herring and Black Headed Gulls, but only 1 Darvic ring on a Juvenile Great Black Backed Gull from Ireland's eye.  
At Dun Laoghaire East Pier, there was a large flock of Black Headed Gulls with Mediterranean Gulls mixed in.  Only one yellow Darvic Ring on a med gull, but it was one I had not recorded previously.  
At he West Pier there were only two Gulls, but one sported a Blue Darvic!  50% ringed!  It was a Great Black Backed Juvenile I have seen before at Bullock Harbour, three miles down the road.
Great Black Backed Gull at Dun Laoghaire West Pier

November 29th

Sean Walsh again today and both Black Headed Gulls E5VA and 27H0 were present.  Also recorded today was a Black Headed Gull from Norfolk in the UK who has been recorded in the Park 11 time in the past 15 months.
Black Headed Gull from Pockthorpe, Norfolk, UK

November 28th

A quiet week for ring reading with a work course taking me away from Sean Walsh Park.  However E5VA was there on the 25th and today sitting on a lamp post was 27H0.
BLack Headed Gull 27H0 preening.

November 24th

Quick trip to Bullock Harbour where there were very few Gulls.  One Great Black Backed with a Blue Darvic from Irelands Eye, but it was one that I often see.  Stopped at the Forty Foot.  There were a few Mediterranean Gulls, but no coloured rings.

November 23rd

At Dublin Zoo today with my boys I noticed a Swan sitting on the Grass with a Metal Ring that looked like one of R Collins's. I'm getting to know the them.   Also read the ring of it's partner.  There was a Heron with a metal ring just out of camera range.  Its ring number started with 129 so probably one of B Kavanaghs!

Below are two different types of BTO Swan rings. So easily distinguished.
Swan with Ring. Probably by R Collins
Swan with Ring.  Probably by Oscar Merne

In the afternoon I went to the Grand Canal in Dublin.  Over 350 Black Headed Gulls, but not even a metal Ring to read! Read a Swan Ring as it was there.   Stopped in Tymon Park where 500+ Black headed gulls were being fed.  Again not even a metal ring!

November 22nd

Today there was a Brent Geese Catch on in Partmarnock.  Alot of waiting is often involved in catching birds.
I walked up the road where some Herring Gulls were roosting on the roof of St Anne's Church and observed an adult Herring Gull, 0JN that I had not seen before.  I also went down to Howth where I read two more adult Herring Gulls that were also firsts for me.  There were also some Great Black Backed Gulls that I had seen yesterday.  Of the 6 Irelands Eye Darvic Rings today, 3 were new to me!  As I have recorded over 60 individuals from Irelands Eye, it still surprises me how many new birds I observe.

Herring Gull Adult at Howth

1st Winter Great Black Backed Gull at Howth
Not many Geese caught but two Black Headed Gulls were accidentally caught, so it was interesting to handle them as they were ringed.  Also two rooks were ringed
Two newly ringed rooks - not talking to each other!

November 21st

A full days ring reading at Howth, Malahide Estuary and Bull Island - all in North County Dublin. Bird of the day was a Juvenile Herring Gull.  Under supervision, I had ringed it myself during the Summer.  It was my first re-sighting since that day.
Herring Gull Blue[0MA] - mid poop!

I also caught the Offal Lorry in Howth!  Those of you who go abroad to visit rubbish tips can possibly understand my excitement.  The lorry takes away the waste from a number of fish factories every week and also attracts many 100's if not 1000's of Gulls in the off chance of a free meal.  A 'Yellow Legged Gull' stood out from the crowd.  Many thanks to Niall T Keogh, who has advised that it is a Herring Gull of the Omissus variety from the Baltic / Scandinavian region.

There were 10 Great Black Backed Gulls with Blue Darvics from Ireland's Eye, an island visible from Howth.  Most were were ones I'd recorded before although 1 was new to me.

Brent Geese at Bull Island.

As I passed Bull Island there were vast amount of Brent Geese in.  Very few out of the water, but this pair allowed me to read their rings.  

On November 12th, I had written that there is always one late in moulting.  In fact there are at least 2!

November 19th

I received the report from Stockholm on the Black Headed Gull metal ring I read at Bullock Harbour on Sunday.  I'm not sure what is more surprising, only two days to get the report or that it has a history!
It was ringed in 2005 and has been reported at the same location in Bullock Harbour on two previous occasions in February and December 2012.

Today in Sean Walsh Memorial Park the Dutch Black Headed Gull - E5VA as well as the Swedish Black Headed Gull 6430814 were present.  From the high of the new Darvic yesterday, it was back to normal.

November 18th

Always a great day when I see a new Black Headed Gull in Sean Walsh Memorial Park with a Darvic ring!  Today a Yellow Darvic ring from, I assume Lough Mask turned up.  Never seen it in the two years of scanning the park flocks daily, but I've heard it roosts Sandymount / Booterstown.
Post Script - Ringed in 2007 in Galway - Thank you to Eoin McGreal for a quick reply.

The metal ring was also upside down, so it's not just an English thing!

November 17th

Bullock Harbour was quiet. There were 4 Blue Darvic Rings from Irelands Eye, all previously seen by me. However, 1 was noteworthy. Great Black Backed Gull Blue[1RK]. It is noteworthy as I saw it yesterday in Howth Harbour! About 10Km as the gull flies! I also finally read the full code of the Metal Ring on the Swedish Black Headed Gull that has been around since July.  More when I get the report.
GBBGU 1RK at Bullock Harbour.

I also stopped at the Forty Foot in Sandycove to scan the Mediterranean Gulls.  Only one coloured ring. On the way home I stopped in Sandyford, at the Royal College of Surgeons building, where Gulls roost on the Roof. An Adult Lesser Black Backed Gull, which should have migrated by now, was observed.  Also Herring Gull 0JH.  I have observed 0JH at Bray Harbour and at Bullock Harbour, but never so far away from the coast.
Aduld Lesser Black Backed Gull in mid November

Herring Gull Blue[0JH]

November 16th

Early morning trip to Howth Harbour.  Nothing particularly unusual.  Six Blue Darvic Rings from Irelands Eye recorded. (Five Great Black Backed Gulls and one Herring Gull).  No rings recorded at Malahide Estuary or in Tymon Park, although the numbers of Black Headed Gulls continues to increase.
GBBGU 1RK at Howth Harbour

November 12th

A quiet few days with just  the usual suspects around - the black headed gulls that I expect to overwinter in Sean Walsh Park.  All but one UK BLHGU has moved on it seemed.

Then today, there's always one who's late, a Black Headed Gull in only the early stages of moult arrived.  It also had a ring - UK I think as it's on upside down, but I didn't read it all.  Something to do tomorrow
November 12th and only starting its moult!
BTO also sent me 11 ring reports so more on the reports soon, including a Grey Heron.

November 9th.  Med Fest!

The Med Fest this morning at Dun Laoghaire! An event to raise awareness and answer questions by the public on Irish Sea Birds and especially the Mediterranean Gull.  Not many Coloured Ringed Med Gulls about, but did read a Finish Metal Ring on a Black Headed Gull.
Black Headed Gull from Finland

Moved on to Bullock Harbour where there were two Irelands Eye Blue Darvic rings on Great Black Backed Gull Juveniles. Yet again one was new to me!

November 7th

For those of you who twitch or list, it is always a good feeling when you see something you were hoping for.  On Monday and observed again on Tuesday, another Black Headed Gull returned to Sean Walsh Park for the the 3rd winter in a row.  It is the 21st time I have read and photographed its ring so a pattern is emerging.  Last year it was first observed on the 14th of Nov 2012, so it too is earlier this year.  The Swedish rings are so nice to read.  This bird was ringed as a nestling in 2010.
 E5VA has been recorded on the 5th, 6th and 7th so back to daily sightings.

November 5th - E5VA is back

The black headed Gull E5VA is back in Sean Walsh Park after an 8 week absence.  I only wrote on Monday that I hope it reappears!  Last year it didn't arrive until October 22nd, so the early sightings in July, August, September were a bonus!  Hopefully this bird will remain a regular each lunch time.

November 4th

Today, I started at Malahide Estuary.  The tide was too high for great ring watching (They roost in the long grass, at low tide they are on the mud flats), but the Black Headed Gull from France was the best of the day.
I read a few Mute Swan Rings while standing around.
Black Headed Gull with Ring from France.
I moved on to Howth Harbour.  It was interesting to see it on a working day.  While the fishermen were checking nets for holes, there were up to a hundred Great Black Backed and Herring Gulls checking for fish.
Howth harbour.
There were 9 rings recorded and photographed , all from Irelands Eye (Local). 1 Herring Gull (2009) and 8 Great Black Backed Gulls, all 1st & 2nd year.  Of the 8,  3 were new to me!  I've recorded over 50 individuals and I am still getting Darvics I haven't seen before!

November 2nd

Bullock Harbour was wind swept and raining, but it kept most people and dog walkers away from the Gulls. I read 9 Darvic rings. The re-sighting of a Scottish Ringed Great Black Backed Gull was the best of the day.
Great Black Backed Gull + Scotland
Amid the Great Black Backed Gulls, with blue Darvic rings from Irelands Eye, was one I hadn't seen before. But a friend later told me he'd seen it on Booterstown Strand last year so it won't be another first.
Great Black Backed Gull

November 1st

Sean Walsh Park is still done most days and although the Black Headed Gull from Gloucester (27H0) is seen most days, no sign of E5VA.  Hope it re appears.

In the afternoon I read a Finish Metal ring in Tymon Park, Tallaght.  Awaiting report.