Saturday, 9 November 2019

Gulls, Gulls, Gulls!!!

I spent just over an hour in Rufford Country Park this afternoon and saw 6 colour ringed Black-headed Gulls and 1 metal ringed bird!

Three of the colour ringed birds, 217A, 227A and 232A, were British ringed and had been ringed by ringers from Sorby Breck and Birklands Ringing Groups. I have recorded 217A here before, on 3rd February 2019 (see here), whereas 227A and 232A were new birds for me.


I don't yet know where and when 227A was ringed, but 232A was ringed just a couple of kilometres away, as a first winter bird, at Center Parcs on 30/10/19.



The metal ringed bird, EL87245, was also British-ringed, so I'll send off details and update the blog when I hear back.

The other 3 darviced gulls were all known birds, namely EUM3 (Dutch ringed and seen on every visit since August), P519 (Lithuanian ringed see here and here) and V77K (Danish ringed bird, first seen here in February 2019 see here and my first sighting of the winter.)


Saturday, 2 November 2019

Danish Gull VA4073 Returns

A quick trip to Alvaston Park in Derby today looking for gulls produced a Danish-ringed bird, VA4073, a bird that I first saw here in November 2018 (see here), and again in February 2019 (see here). The bird was born and ringed on the island on Hirsholm, Denmark on 26th May 2018 (911km away). When I first saw it, it was in 1st winter plumage, with a few juvenile feathers remaining, and looked like this.

VA4073 in November 2018

It looked very similar in February 2019.

VA4073 in February 2019

Today, after having undergone a full moult, the juvenile feathers were gone, and it looked like this.

VA4073 today

Norfolk Birds

Jayne and I were in Norfolk for a few days this week. We visited RSPB Titchwell on Tuesday, where we spotted all the usual suspects, including my first year tick, Red-throated Diver, since 1st September.

We stayed in Blakeney, and had a few walks around the marshes there. Bearded Tits were seen in the reeds by the main path, and gave some great views. Other birds seen here included; Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed, Great Black-backed and Herring Gull, Marsh Harrier and Brent and Pink-footed Geese

Bearded Tit

I also spotted a couple of Muntjac Deer in a nearby garden, including this female.

Muntjac Deer

On the 30th I had a couple of hours sea watching at Cley, where I managed to see Gannets, Guillemots, Ringed Plover, Red and Black-throated Divers, and, best of all, a very distant Great Skua (year list).

Our last trip was to the marshes at Burnham Overy, where we spotted Little and Great White Egret (2), Redshank, Grey Plover, Knot, Dunlin, Curlew and a Kingfisher.

Year List update:
192 - Red-throated Diver
193 - Great Skua

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Rufford Gulls

A short, hour long trip to Rufford CP, yesterday saw me catch up with 2 familiar Black-headed Gulls. The first, EUM3 (Dutch ringed), is almost guaranteed on every visit now, and it was in the same place, enjoying some delicious bread again!


The second gull, P519 ringed in Lithuania on 1st April 2010 as an adult 1456km away, was first seen by me in February 2019 at Rufford (see here). It had been seen before, at Rufford, in January 2018 and in November 2018, so it's obviously a regular bird here. Yesterday's sighting was the first since February 2019, and hopefully it's back for the winter again.


Sunday, 27 October 2019

Linacre WeBS - 27th October 2019

Ringing at Linacre was cancelled this morning dur to strong winds, so instead, Sarah, Robin and I walked around all three reservoirs and carried out this month's WeBS count.

No real surprises this month, but the Mandarin Ducks (48) looked very smart in their newly moulted breeding finery. Also, it was nice to see my first Linacre Black-headed Gulls of the winter, with 24 seen (no rings though).

Other birds seen were: Mallard (87), Tufted Duck (22), Coot (5), Moorhen (13), Grey Heron (1), Grey Wagtail (1), Cormorant (1), Great-crested Grebe (1) and Little Grebe (1).

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Look who's back!

I was in Bakewell this afternoon, checking the gulls, when I spotted a familiar bird  - EY19562 (see here).


This adult Black-headed Gull was first spotted here in November 2018, and then recorded another 3 times last winter. It had originally been ringed 40km away at Westport Lakes, Staffordshire, as a first year bird, on 10th December  2014, making it 5 years old. Hopefully, it'll hang around the area for another winter.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Linacre Ringing - 12th October 2019

After a couple of wet and windy weekends it was really nice to get out to Linacre again for a ringing session yesterday. I was there with 5 other members of Sorby Breck Ringing Group, and we managed to catch a ring 75 birds of 11 species.

As usual, the majority of birds ringed were tits, with 24 Blue (23 new and 1 retrap), 24 Great Tits (22 new and 2 retraps), 1 Coal Tit (new bird) and 8 Long-tailed Tits (7 new and 1 retrap). We did however, also ring Goldcrest ( 7 new birds), 1 Wren (new), 2 Robins (new), 1 Treecreeper (new), 1 Chiffchaff ( a new, 1st year bird), Blackbird (4 new birds, including 2 probable continental birds) and 2 Redwings (our first of the year).



In between net rounds we also recorded a Peregrine Falcon (only my third Linacre record, and my first since 2016), Raven (1 over), 1 Cormorant and a lovely skein of approximately 180 Pink-footed Geese flying SE. A Red Admiral butterfly was also seen briefly.