Sunday, 15 November 2015

Thank goodness for rings

It was one of those weekends that, despite things looking promising, didn't exactly pan out as well as it could have. Saturday was spent at Dungeness (in very poor weather) and today I decided to stay a bit more local to home.

Yesterday, despite there being reports of up to 7 Caspian Gulls on the RSPB reserve, my blind faith in the point area meant that I didn't stray there to take a look. And I even managed to miss an adult Caspian Gull at the point! I guess these things happen. Despite loads of bread (and corn flakes) I just had to concede defeat and left Caspian-less. Just four rings too - the faithful Dutch Great Black-backed Gull B4, a new Norwegian Great Black-backed Gull (below) and two Sussex ringed birds (which are next to useless as I never get a reply).
Great Black-backed Gull (J15X) Dungeness, Kent 14th November 2015 - ringed as a chick at Ă˜stre Hillekvistholmen, Mandal, Vest-Agder, Norway on 17th June 2007. Seen at Le Portel beach, Pas-de-Calais, France on 11th September 2007, Boulogne-sur-Mer Port, Pas-de-Calais, France on 29th September 2007 and then back in Norway Brennevinsmyra, Mandal, Vest-Agder on 14th May 2012

And to today. I walked out to the mud my the O2 in Greenwich mid-morning, as that was when it was low tide. A Rock Pipit showed up briefly and had a look around. Easily my best views of this species in London to date; though when it clocked me, it flew off east calling vociferously.
Rock Pipit Greenwich, London 15th November 2015
Plenty of gulls, but there was a Thames Clipper that for some reason had been left here so a little bit of disturbance too. Anyway, the gulls coped - there were two Yellow-legged Gull (a second-winter and first-winter) and a slick looking, white-winged Black-headed Gull. Added to this a couple of interesting Black-headed Gull rings (from Lithuania and Denmark - awaiting ring details) as well as a couple of NTGG Herring Gulls, and it wasn't too bad at all. A check in at Burgess Park didn't produce the hoped for Med Gull that is still yet to return this winter, though the copious amounts of Egyptian Geese now present get more brazen as time passes. Pecking at my ankles when I chucked out bread to the gulls was their new trick today...
Black-headed Gull Greenwich, London 15th November 2015; white-winged though this the only obvious feature that would suggest any Med Gull influence - otherwise a fairly typical Black-headed Gull


  1. Hi - are your Sussex birds from the RSPCA scheme? If so, I have several of those without reply from last Winter. Is there another line of attack with these birds? Cheers Adam

  2. Hi Adam - the Sussex birds are indeed from that RSPCA scheme. Unfortunately really, as everyone I know has given up even submitting them. I don't even bother recording them anymore - would love to know of other lines of attack apart from the one email address given everywhere! Cheers.