Saturday, 2 May 2015

May - Great Black Backed Gulls

May 30th

What a day!!!  Nearly everything a ring reader could wish for.  Large quantity of Gulls and it was waste collection time from the fish factories.  The 5th colour ring read after 10 minutes was 2JJ, this was one I didn't recognise!  It was ringed in 2009, but I'd never seen it before.
Great Black backed Gull 2JJ - A first for me.
The 9th ring was was a Great Black Backed Gull 1LC, which was vaguely familiar.  I hadn't seen it for almost a year, but I have never seen it at Howth before.

However, Lucky 13th ring for me was a Great Black Backed 2HH.  Again this was ringed in 2009 and again this was my first sighting.  Unlucky for it, it had a fishing hook embedded in it;s right wing
Great Black Backed 2HH - Complete with fishing hook in wing!
Fishing hook.
While photographing metal rings (and I managed to get three full codes) I photographed this Great Black Backed Gull - 1AV.  Ringed in 2010, (Judging by the number sequence), this too was a first for me.  

13 Great Black Backed Darvic Rings read
3 Great Black backed Metal Rings read
2 Herring Gull Darvic Rings Read
1 Herring Gull Darvic Ring Read

However bird of the day, which took careful consideration, goes to the Herring Gull 0LH!  It was ringed in 2013 by me!  I recorded it in December of 2013, but hadn't seen it since.  Great to know it has survived.

May 23rd

Howth Harbour, conditions were right but only 6 coloured rings read.  Some times it just goes like that!

GBBGU 1EN - Feathers look very worn.  (2010 bird)

Herring Gull 0CU - Hadn't seen this bird for nearly a year!

May 20th

Spotted another Great Black Backed with a Blue Darvic in Sean Walsh Park, Tallaght.  I assumed it would be 1VA which I saw last month at the same spot.  However, it was a Great Black Backed Gull 1JJ.

The history of my sightings for this bird is unusual.  By it's plumage it hatched in 2011, but I have only seen it twice previously in 4 years
19/05/2013 Bullock Harbour G Prole Alive colour ring read.
25/05/2013 Bullock Harbour G Prole Alive colour ring read.
20/05/2015 Sean Walsh Park G Prole Alive colour ring read.

May 10th

Just when you begin to think you know something about a bird, it does something unexpected.  The Great Black backed Gull 1RM I have recorded over 20 times over the past 3 years on my monthly visits to Howth Harbour.  ERGO - This individual always stays around Howth.  Today while checking on Swans in Clondalkin it turned up 25Km from Howth.  These birds seem to have a huge range.

May 2nd

Howth Harbour is magnificent for Gulls and any thing could turn up.  A Raven was there on the Pier again this morning.  Today, I had planned to walk the canals on a Mute Swan Project, however the weather was truly awful, so I went to Howth, where I could shelter if necessary from the rain. It was 6 degrees with driving rain but the bins of waste from the factories were being prepared for collection and the Gulls were waiting for an opportunity of an easy meal.

Larus Marinus 2AM - Always good to see regulars.

Great Black Backed Gull 2AH - Only my 2nd sighting of this bird

Herring Gull 0JH.  At Howth in May means possibly breeding on Ireland's Eye
But my bird of the day must go to this Herring Gull.  0HM was ringed in 2010 and it is my first sighting.  I am aware that it was reported in 2011, but it is a first for me!
Herring Gull + Blue Darvic [0HM]
The Raven perched on the Ice House.

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