Friday, 3 April 2015

April 2015 - Iceland Gull

April 26th

At this time of year there are very few Coloured Ringed Gulls around.  There are the occasional sub adult Great Black Backed Gulls from Howth and the Scottish Herring Gull is still at Bray Harbour.

Scottish Ringed Herring Gull

Scottish Ringed Herring Gull at Bray Harbour.

I included this photo of an unringed Herring Gull for comparison with the Yellow Legged Gull below.

April 18th

A quick trip to Howth Harbour this morning.  When I arrived there was a Raven!  Great view from the car, but when I parked it was gone.  Last year on the 18th of April I read 15 coloured rings, today I recorded just one.  The bird of the day was a Yellow Legged Gull.  I have previously seen Herring Gulls with Yellow legs, but this seemed like the real deal.  

Yellow Legged Gull. Note p10 Wing tip compared with Herring Gull!

April 13th

The Iceland Gull gave great views today.  If the spot on P5 is an identifying mark, it is the same Iceland Gull returning.

Iceland Gull taking off.

Iceland Gull taking Bread from children!

Iceland Gull in Sean Walsh Park

Iceland Gull with double black spot on P5

April 11th

After a early morning of walking the Grand Canal looking at Swan Territories, I treated myself to a trip to Howth Harbour and what a morning!!  There were hundreds of Great Black Backed Gulls and Herring Gulls.  I read 18 coloured rings and 2 metals.  I should have read a lot more metals but the feeding Frenzy was so mad I kept loosing track of individuals, so I ended up with 11 partial readings!

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Bird of the day goes to the Great Black backed Gull that this ring belongs to.  The ring was so far open I thought it would fall off.  No guarantee the bird is old as once made they can stay unused for many years, but it is possibly the oldest  ring I've seen.

April 9th

I took a morning off from Mute Swans this morning and went to Howth Harbour to look for Great Black Backed Gulls.  There were plenty! In the short time I was there I recorded 7 coloured rings on Great Black Backed Gulls and 2 on Herring Gulls.  Nothing out of the ordinary but they are great to watch.

April 5th

On the Grand Canal this morning I came across yet another of the rescued Swans!  See April 3rd for more information!  It was yet another I hadn't recorded since release.
Mute Swan W37961 showing no ill effects of being cleaned of oil in February.

Mute Swan ring W37961

April 3rd

Happy ending.  As those who read this blog know, an oil spill in Sean Walsh Park Tallaght, resulted in 13 mute swans at the DSPCA rescue center in the Dublin Mountains.  They were each given a BTO metal ring while at the rescue center.  They were released on February 23rd at Bray Harbour.  Last week in Sean Walsh Park a new pair arrived in.  They took up the best territory and relegated the pair there to the smaller lake.  I eventually spotted that they were ringed and after a few attempts I read them.  They are two of the rescued Swans released 20Km away and now returned! It took them nearly 5 weeks so I know why people don't race them!  Lets see if they breed this year.  
Mute Swans in Tymon Park - Photos of Sean Walsh Park aren't great!!
Mute Swan - Ring under water so looks warped but isn't.  First sighting since release.

W37960 - Last recorded at Bray Harbour on March 1st