Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Bagging them up

I mentioned that the Saturday just gone I'd joined the NTGG, and helped out in just a small way with the 276 gulls ringed. I must say that I was extremely impressed with the professionalism and concern for the welfare of the birds, as well as the openness of Paul et al in letting me come along and see what happens.
As it turned out, it was a really tricky day, as the gulls just wouldn't settle in the range of the nets despite the compactor drivers really trying hard to entice them down. While all this was happening, I joined Chris and Richard and scanned the tip. I picked out a 1st-winter Caspian Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull but due to the sunlight and where they were tipping, the main feeding frenzy was just out of view. A couple of Sussex-ringed, rehabilitated Herring Gulls (an adult and a first-winter) as well as a 1st-winter Great Black-backed Gull that had been ringed in Norway. And then all of a sudden it went bang and this is what happened...
The captured gulls were all really docile, and seemed to know what was going on more or less. We bagged them all and then they all got ringed on site - unlike the dinner queue at school, where the big ones go first, it was Black-heads, then Commons, Herrings and then the brutish GBBs that scurried around in their bags like nothing I'd ever seen before. And then they bit a few people for good measure once extracted and being ringed.
Smile... more on this character at some other point

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