Monday, 2 June 2014

June 2014 - Med Gull Season Starts!

June 27th

The first of the Mediterranean Gulls, Larus melanocephalus, started arriving early this week, so down to Sandycove to see what coloured rings are about.  Eleven Med Gulls and one coloured ring.  Green[AKAJ] from Germany. 

I visited Bullock Harbour for a few minutes. No coloured rings so I stopped at Dun Laoghaire on the way home and observed 2 more Coloured Rings. 

W[1A9:C]R is  a Great Black Backed Gull from Scotland.

B[1VU]W is a Great Black Backed from Irelands Eye.  

June 26th

What a difference a day makes.  Today the number of Black Headed Gulls in Sean Walsh Park had risen by 12 to 35.  What was more surprising wasn't the presence of mature adults, (up to now it was all 1st summer birds), but there were two juveniles present.  Earlier than last year!  No rings recorded today.

Juvenile Black Headed Gull

Possible Great Black Backed Gull - another photo below.

June 22nd

This afternoon I visited Bray Harbour.  Among my highlights were finally seeing 3AL for myself! 

Another highlight was the appearance of the Herring Gull 0JH.  In May it was at Bulloch Harbour, in March I saw it at Howth.  It can turn up anywhere!  I first saw it in Bray in 2012.

The gull below gave me some ID Issues!  I believe it is a Great Black Backed with a deformed bill.  Feel free to tell me I'm wrong!

However, the best of the day may yet be this Herring Gull.  I don't recognizance the sequence of the ring as one that belonging to anyone I know.  I hope it was ringed somewhere interesting!
Postscript 03/09/2014
Just received reply from BTO.  This Herring Gull was ringed in Scotland.  This is my first Scottish Herring Gull.  It was ringed at Loch Linnhe, Highland, Scotland.  For those unfamiliar with this location it is on the west of Scotland near to Mull.  

This morning I had a quick stop at Bulloch Harbour.  The Great Black Backed Gull 1VV was present as was Great Black Backed Gull 1TC.  No other rings seen.

June 20th

Yes, the date is out of Sync.  However, R Martin has just emailed me to say that 1TC, the Great Black Backed Gull he saw in Bray last week he saw at Bulloch Harbour.  When you start observing individuals it is fascinating what their range is!

Great Black Backed Gull 1TC.  Photo by Ronnie Martin

June 21st

At Howth early this morning I read 13 Rings.  All were from the Ireland's Eye Colony.  No new birds recorded.  The med gulls have started to arrive and the med gull ring reading season is about to kick off.

June 17th

Sean Walsh Park, has been quiet for rings, as expected this week.  The Black Headed Gull 27H0 from Gloucestershire is observed most days.  There are a few more adult Black Headed Gulls turning up.  No coloured rings to say from where.
Note the White Plastic leg ring!  W[27H0] is from Gloucestershire

June 9th

I do not ring, I only read rings placed by others.  That saying, I am delighted that I've been emailed again by Ronnie Martin with another observation and photo from Bray harbour.  The Great Black Backed Gull is again from the Irelands' Eye colony. I haven't seen the bird since August 2013.  Until then it was a regular at Bullock Harbour.  Nice to know it is alive and well and moved to Bray!  I will pass on the sighting to the scheme.
Great Black Backed Gull in Bray Harbour - Photo by Ronnie Martin

June 7th

What a great morning at Howth!  25 rings read.  All from Irelands Eye.  5 Herring Gulls - all adults and 20 Great Black Backed Gulls.  Among the Great Black Backed rings I photographed today,  three were ones I hadn't recorded before.  Two of these were ringed in 2009 2AK & 2CP.  1JK was also new to me and probably ringed in 2010 or 2011 as the plumage isn't quite full adult yet.  I don't have any data on that bird.
I think that brings my observations to 67 individuals from Irelands' Eye, the Island visible from Howth Harbour.
Great Black Backed Gull 1JK.  3rd or 4th Summer?
Great Black Backed Gull 2AK.  Another 1st for me! 2009

Great Black Backed Gull 2CP.  Ringed 2009

There are continuous battles for the best vantage points!

GBBGU 3AM looking into a lorry for an easy meal.

I have seen Herring Gull 0AR 10 times.  Only today I noticed the rings are reversed!

June 6th

Received a email and photo from Ronnie M. of a Great Black Backed Gull in Bray Harbour 3AL.  It is an individual I haven't seen.  I will forward on his sighting to the scheme.
Great Black Backed Gull 3AL, Bray Harbour.  Photo by kind permission of Ronnie Martin.

June 2nd

Swords Estuary today had a Great Black Backed Gull from Irelands Eye.  Only the second time this site has produced for me an Irelands Eye ring.  It turned out to be the same bird I saw there last November!  Howth Harbour later produced 5 rings, but nothing new or exciting.  However, repeat sightings can provide interesting data.
Great Black Backed Gull at Howth Harbour.


  1. For my area never I observed a Black-backed Gull ringed.


    1. Great Black Back Gulls tend not to go more than 150km from their nest.
      Great sighting of the Lesser Black Back from Lough Mask on your blog. Well done!