Saturday, 16 December 2017

December 2017

31st of December 

Firstly, Happy New Year to all.

A quick check at Portobello on the Wintering Swans this morning.  There were 78 on the Canal.  I only recorded 26 rings.  There were also 50 Juvenile Herring Gulls and not a ring among them!

But there is always one fascinating reading.  Swan CBAN was ringed on October 31st 2016.  This is the first sighting since it was ringed!

I had spotted a Green Ringed Black Headed Gull, while queuing at the traffic lights en route.  I walked back and relocated it.  Ringed as an adult in 2014.  Todays was the 3rd record outside Norway.  (The other two sightings were also mine).

Black Headed Gull JC38 from Norway.
Driving home I drove round Ben Madigan Park in Drimnagh.  I did spot one of our red rings on a lamp post.  I nearly missed it as it took off as I was focusing the camera!  However, I caught the code 014:D!  It is another first sighting.

30th December

Bray Harbour at low tide is ideal for Gull watching and looking for rings.  100's of Gulls.  Mainly Herring Gulls and Black Headed Gulls, but also Common Gulls and Great Black Backed Gulls.

None of the rarer gulls were noted today.  Surely among this 600 Gulls would be one of our Colour Ringed Juveniles?  The answer after an hour was no!  If there isn't 1 of the 250 Gulls we colour ringed in Dublin, where are these from?  I spotted a metal ring on a Juvenile Herring Gull.  It took me a while to read it. GV13805 - Not one of our Club Rings.  Unfortunately, the new Demon website is awaiting the ringing data so I don't know where it was ringed.

Just when I was leaving I spotted a Blue ring on a Great Black Backed Gull.  It too a while to read it - 3AL.  Ringed in 2013, it was seen twice at this location in 2014.  This was the first sighting since 2014.

28th December

A morning off work meant I got a trip to North Dublin again.  At Howth, 3 of our new project Gulls were recorded as well as two of the old Blue rings and a Metal on a Herring Gull.

174:D.  A Third sighting of this individual.  Ringed on Irelands Eye.

Blue[1SV].Ringed in 2012. This is the 31st sighting.  All so far have been at Howth Harbour.

Red [096:D].  First sighting since ringing was also this week!  Also an Irelands Eye Gull.

Red[353:D] First sighting away from Irelands Eye.  Last time it was reported was August when it was reported sick and continually "sneezing".  Alive and healthy today.

Blue [0LN] Ringed as an adult in 2016.  This is only the 3rd sighting since then.

While at Howth I was lucky to have Snow Bunting flitting around!

At Baldoyle shore I was delighted to see 100 Brent Beese.  However none were ringed.  I did spot one of our Rings - Red[097:D] - A first sighting since ringing.

At Seagrange Park, there were 200 Brent.  The Grass was too long to read many but I did record 4.  Below is Photo of 3ABY.

26th December

Howth Harbour for a post Christmas walk.  Not many Gulls about compared with usual.  However, I did record 2 of our Colour Ringed Gulls.

118:D  Is a frequently recorded Herring Gull at Howth.  Ringed by me on Ireland's Eye. An Island you can see from Howth.

096:D was also ringed on Irelands Eye.  (Not by me!)  However, this is a first sighting since ringed.

I stopped in Fr Collins Park on the way back.  The Nowegian Black Headed Gull, J18J was present.  Ringed as an adult in 2015, it was recorded in 2015 in Fr Collins Park and every year since.

23rd December

Grangecastle is a site I will have to watch more closely.  Today I went back to see if I could find the Isle of Man Herring Gull.  No luck, but I did get a first sighting of another of our Irelands Eye Herring Gulls.  They are quite nervous at the site so the photo is from far, far away.  It is the Gull with the X above it!

20th December

At Grangecastle Business Park, there were two Herring Gulls with Coloured rings at lunchtime today.  I went for our one first.  Only got 1 photo from 40m before it flew.  This is another from Irelands' Eye.  26km from the ringing site and 15kn from the coast.  Not a great photo but a first sighting of 127:D

The second ringed Herring Gull was from the Isle of Man but I failed to capture the code, just the :M!
Oh well, next time maybe.

I was more intrigued with the Lesser Black Backed Gulls.  This one appears to be Larus Fuscus graellsii.  I must study them more closely.  By rights ours should be in Spain, Portugal or North Africa at this time of year.  Are there our Urban Gulls who have lost the migratory urge or from much more northern parts and this is as far as they go?

19th December

In Tymon Park today I re-sighted the Polish Black Headed Gull.  Good to confirm this is it's territory.  However it would not come out of the lake! Hence this photo!

17th December

The task of locating our Dublin Gulls brought Tonya and myself to Poppintree Park in Ballymun.  On arrival a white Darvic was spotted on a Black Headed Gull.  However it was too quick for the camera.  We waited for the 300+ gulls to settle, but it wasn't observed again.  However, when we were leaving one of our red rings was spotted and Tonya got this photo.  It was one of the Irelands Eye Gulls we were looking for and was 8km from the coast.

16th December

It has been a quiet month for ring sightings.  Today I stopped at Bray Harbour and recorded the Black Headed Gull from Lithuania for the first time this winter. I know others have recorded it already. It has been coming to Bray for 6 years now.

I had gone to Bray to look for our Gulls. I am so surprised that I have had only one sighting of our coloured ringed Herring Gulls from Bray.  There are usually good numbers of juvenile Herring Gulls and is a great place for turning up anIsle of Man or Scottish ringed Gull.  Today, I did find one of ours!  116:D was ringed at St James Hospital and this was the first sighting since it fledged!

Herring Gull 116:D at Bray Harbour, Co Wicklow.

9th December

Surprised to see E5VA at Tallaght Stadium, Sean Walsh Park.  Coloured Ring sightings have been scarce recently.

4th December

With the exception of the Black Headed Gull 27H0, who has a daily present in Sean Walsh Park, no other coloured rings have been sighted. (Apart from my Swans - I get about 50 sightings a week!)

Monday, 6 November 2017

November 2017

November 26th

A stop at the Grand Canal at Davitt Road, produced another first sighting of one of our Urban Herring Gull Juveniles.  The reports I am getting, all seem to be further afield.
In fact the majority of the sightings I am getting are from the Urban nesting Lesser Black-backed Gull Juveniles who have made their way to Spain and Portugal!  See my recommended blogs.  Even the Urban Herring Gull sightings are spreading out with Arklow now being the furthest south.

November 25th

I have been having email problems all week.  Firstly emails with attachments not arriving, unable to send etc.  If you have sent me a sighting and haven't received a report within in a reasonable time eg 48 hours, please send again to the address mute.swan.ring@gmail,com  .  All sights of our Gulls and Swans are important and appreciated

November 19th

Doing a Canal count today, I observed yet another Norwegian Black Headed Gull.  J03U was ringed.  Ringed as an adult in 2015, it has not been recorded outside Norway before.  Are Black Headed Gulls still passing through?  It would be great to ring wintering Black Headed Gulls, but while a large proportion are passing through still, the re-sighting percentage would be low.  I am trying to ascertain when the winter population stabilizes for more accurate re-sighting data year on year.

Norway J03U

November 18th

Quick stop at Bullock Harbour.  Loads of Gulls, but only one red ring briefly spotted.  First sighting away from Irelands Eye for R[342:D]

At Dun Laoghaire there were 2 Mediterranean Gulls.  2XK5 is a new individual for me to observe.  Ringed last year in Dublin.

November 15th

I was right! Received ringing data for T96W and it was ringed this year as an adult.  However it was observed in Dublin already this winter so it looks like it will stick around and isn't just passing through.

November 14th

New Black Headed Gull today!  As a species they are so habitual.  You get the same gull in the same park year after year.  It is rare to see them at a different location.  Today at lunch I was in Tymon Park at the Spa Well end.  I was just leaving when I spotted a yellow darvic ring.  

The Polish ring T96W is new to me.  I am awaiting the ringing details, but I expect it to be recently ringed or I would have seen it before!

November 13th

At Sean Walsh Park, one of our Red ringed Herring Gulls turned up.  A 2nd visit to this park by this one from a location near St Vincents Hospital.

November 9th

In Sean Walsh Park today the Swedish Black Headed Gull 6430814 was recorded.  I would have thought it was late, but it is great to have other ring readers and David Hutchinson Edgar recorded it on October 30th.  This Gull was ringed in 2010 in Sweden.  Great to see it back for another winter.

November 3rd

I was on a short holiday in Galway, on the west coast of Ireland and nice to see the Ring Billed Gull, we don't often get them on the East Coast.  This American Gull is a regular visitor to Galway.

I only read one Darvic on my holiday and what an interesting sighting for me.  Rubbish photo but JHP9 is from Norway and winters in Galway.  I however, have recorded it in Dublin on migration in March 2016.

Monday, 2 October 2017

A Herring Gull with our ring!

October 28th

Howth Harbour, plenty of Gulls about but it was over an hour till the first ring was recorded and the 2nd the following hour!  So I moved on to Bull Island.

A the Bull, there were plenty of Brent Geeses to read rings as I walked along.  This was the most intriguing Gull of the day.  A Herring Gull with 2 un-coded yellow rings.  The left one appears to have a black line.  However, before I got to steady the camera it walked into the water so all I got were record shots from 60m.  If anyone knows anything about the origins of this Herring Gull I would be grateful.  It does match a scheme in Holland in 2000, but all other schemes also Metal ring. I have sent the photo to the Dutch Scheme to see if it is indeed a match.

I did also spot a blue ring OJN.  Ringed on the Island of Irelands Eye in 2010.  I have not recorded this individual since 2014! 
 Eventually my persistence paid off and near the Causeway, I spotted a red Ring 074:D.  This is an Irelands Eye Herring Gull.

Pleasant morning and I also read 10 Brent Rings.

October 23rd

The Urban Gull Project means this year we coloured Ringed almost 250 large Gull Pullus this year in Dublin, but sightings have been thin on the ground compared to what I'd expected!  The Lesser Black Backed Juveniles have started turning up in Spain and Portugal (which is to be expected), but where are all the Herring Gull Juveniles?  Today in Sean Walsh Park, Tallaght, this individual appeared.  Ringed at St Vincents Hospital, at least we now know it fledged.

Larus argentatus - Urban Gull Project - Red [010:D]

October 22nd

I finished my morning with a walk at Dun Laoghaire.  Quite a few Mediterranean Gulls but only 4 with coloured rings.  The Polish Mediterranean Gull Red [PRN6] is a regular as is the German Green [AKAJ]but the other two were new to me, although I know they have been recorded in Dublin before.

Mediterranean Gull 3YJJ from Belguim

ASTS - 2CY Mediterranean Gull. Germany

At Bullock Harbour, there were 3 Blue Rings, 2 x GBBGU and 1 x Herring Gull.  Where are all the juveniles gone?  It was 95% Adult birds!
Bullock Harbour.
Great Black Backed Gull Blue [1VV]

This morning at Bray there were 17 coloured ringed Swans and 1 metal ring.  The metal ring was a surprise.  W21645 was ringed in 2006 as a 2nd year.  It has lost its coloured ring CAXJ!  It is almost a year since it has been last reported.  Now I know why!

October 21st

At Heuston Station, there was one of our Urban Gulls preening on the Liffey. Red [016:D]

October 14th

Sandymount Strand this afternoon provided a variety of CR Birds.  My bird of the day was a Norwegian Black-headed Gull. J41M. Another new to me BLHGU!

It wasn't the only Black-headed Gull ESVL was also re-sighted (Belguim).  I also read some Oystercatchers HZ, LF and PF.  I am still waiting for replies to my last oystercatcher submission in July, but I will send in the reports.
Oystercatcher HZ

Oystercatcher PF

I read a couple of Med Gull rings but the the real indication of the time of year was there were 59 Brent Geese on the beach.  Great to see them back.  There were only 2 with coloured rings.  The photos aren't great on the beach but I am photographing from 50 - 100m as not to disturb the birds.  The photo of the flock below is cropped, so the fact that I can zoom in and read the rings, means the photography does sometimes suffer!

Brent Goose 9KRR.

October 8th

A wet and windy afternoon, but I went for a walk on Sandymount Strand anyway.  I spotted a yellow Darvic on a Black Headed Gull.  Through the rain it looked at first like the Lough Mask bird 217G, so I took some photos.  To my surprise the photos are of my first Black Headed Gull from the North Thames Ringing Group Yellow 2J76.  Ringed in Essex in 2017.  Another new Black-headed Gull for me!

October 5th

At Sean Walsh Park I spotted  a black ring on a Black-headed gull. It was another of the Brewood Ringers gulls from Birmingham.  I immediately assumed it was the same one that appeared last year as a Juvenile but I realised it wasn't.  Legs appeared too dark for a 2nd year.  Last year it was 2AHP, this year it is 2APA who dropped in.  Will it stay or just another passing through?  This one will be interesting in aging adults.

Black-headed Gull + Brewood Ringers + 2APA

October 3rd

Myself and Tonya went out to Howth today.  We managed to read 12 rings between Herring Gull and Great Black Backed Gulls.  I was expecting the number of our Red rings to be higher that 4, considering we ringed 140 on Irelands Eye over the summer.  On Irelands Eye on out last trip, 1 out of 5 carried a ring.  Today it was 1:50.  The question is where are all these Juveniles coming from.  Maybe Lambay Island?

What makes ring reading interesting is where they come from.  The Juvenile Lesser Black Backed Gull 307:D is from an Urban nest.  It was ringed in the heart of Dublin City as a flightless Juvenile

Larus Marinus - Great Black Backed Gull.  307:D is from an Urban nest.  Not all here are locals!!

HOWTH HARBOUR 03/10/2017
0LV 178:D 3EU 2AM 1AM 307:D
OAP 125:D 1UK 318:D

1AM - NOte Primary feathers are not yet full grown after moult

October 2nd 2017

At lunch time at Sandycove the were about 20 Mediterranean Gulls and a Coloured Ringed Black Headed Gull from Norway.  This was my CR Bird of the day.  I had not seen this individual before.  It was caught and ringed as an adult in April 2017 in Norway.  It has probably been coming to Ireland since it first fledged.  SK has recorded it twice at the Booterstown Roost. Again the photo isn't great but it is cropped from a photo on Maximum Zoom.  (It was about 40m away!)

Black Headed Gull from Norway

Med Gull 2XK2 is really interesting as it is part of the small Irish Breeding population

At Bullock Harbour earlier this morning a quick check showed 3 Great Black Backed Gulls with Coloured Rings.  1VV is a Great Black Backed from Irelands Eye, Ringed in 2013, but looking very much an Adult.  However, bill has both too much black, and not yellow enough.  It is  "Dirty around the Eye" which is also dull, not yellow, compared to the wintering adults.  I would also note it isn't black enough!

There were 2 of this years Juveniles, I was expecting to get more sightings than we have.  But all in good time.