Friday, 4 March 2016

Last weekend's action

I spent Saturday morning on the tip as usual. Steve wasn't about, so it was my job to shuttle a load of ringers up there before I started the scanning - they had a good day with one catch of 299 birds. And it was no surprise that they ringed lots of Lesser Black-backed Gull as it was noticeable they're starting to push through; amongst them I had two ringed ones including this cracking recovery: -
adult Lesser Black-backed Gull WL4T - ringed at the tip on 19th March 2011, and then seen at Snape, Suffolk on 15 February 2015, Southend, Essex on 8 August 2015 before being seen at El Jadida dump, Morocco on 21 January 2016 - merely a month before I took this photo!
Anyway, there wasn't too much else about until late in the morning when I spotted a 1st-winter Caspian Gull hanging about. And then to add to the sighting, it had a yellow ring on it! Not the usual Polish one either, as being a bit of a gull ring geek these days I knew it was either from the Ukraine or Belarus (still awaiting response by the way). However, when it took off it showed a pretty Herring Gull-like tail and rump which perhaps suggest it may well not be 100% Caspian in genetic lineage: -

1st-winter Caspian Gull/hybrid HC92C Pitsea, Essex 27th February 2016
There were also a handful of Med Gulls about, all adults and starting to look pretty smart. Other than that, it was just the odd Norwegian ringed Great Black-backed Gull and a load of local rings. And so then to Sunday, where I spent a couple of hours at Greenwich before having to do non birding things at Karen's request. Lots of gulls, including the inevitable NTGG birds, with three Bristolian Lesser Black-backed Gulls being my highlights - all three over 10 years old, including U:K that I saw last summer having again been seen at Colmenar Viejo dump near Madrid from November 2015 to January 2016. As well as a 19 year old bird that had gone undetected for the last 8 years: -
adult Lesser Black-backed Gull Greenwich, London 28th February 2016 - ringed in Bristol in 1997 and seen at Figueira da Foz, Portugal in September 1997, Matosinhos, Portugal November 2003, Ortigueira, Portugal February 2005 then Matosinhos, Portugal in December 2005 before being last seen at Nemina, A Coruna, Spain in January 2008

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