Sunday, 10 March 2019

BHG EUM3 still around, and a new friend

I spent half an hour at Rufford Country Park this afternoon (in the wind, rain, hail and sunshine!) to see if any Black-headed Gulls were still around. There were just 20ish birds present, including an old favourite, Dutch-ringed EUM3. I first saw this bird at Rufford on 3rd February 2019, and again on 18th February 2019. It is a 2 year old bird, ringed in The Netherlands in May 2017. What was really nice to see today, was how far it had moulted since I last saw it. Here's a couple of pictures. The first one was taken on 18th February 2019, and the second one was taken today. What a transformation!

18th February 2019

20th March 2019

Luke was also there today (with his family), and he also saw EUM3, but he also managed to get a new metal-ringed bird, starting VA4 _ _ _ .

Danish BHG VA4 _ _ _

As you can see from the picture, this is a 1st winter bird, born in 2018. I'm pretty sure it's a Danish bird, for 2 reasons. Firstly, I've had another bird with a ring starting VA4 this winter, in Alvaston Park, Derby, which was confirmed as a Danish bird, and, perhaps more importantly, the letters run vertically up the ring, which is the same as for the other confirmed Danish birds. Unfortunately, neither of us could get the remaining 3 digits (I didn't even see the bird!!) so this might be "one that got away".

Monday, 4 March 2019

Year List Update - 4th March 2019

The "Year List" has moved on again, with several new species added at Carsington Water last weekend (numbers 119 - 121), Red-legged Partridge at Linacre, Iceland Gull at Ogston Reservoir (1 adult and 1 1st winter) on Saturday, and Peregrine Falcon (Hardwick Wood fly over during a ringing session) and Great Grey Shrike at Clumber Park on Sunday.


Great Grey Shrike

Whilst at Ogston there were also a 1st winter and a near adult  "Viking" Gull a.k.a. a Herring x Glaucous Gull hybrid in the roost. The 1st winter looked very Glaucous-like, but had dark primaries, but I didn't manage to see the adult bird. Nice to see, even if it's not a  full species!

Year List update:
119 – Barnacle Goose (F)
120 – Tree Sparrow
121 – Snipe
122 – Red-legged Partridge
123 – Iceland Gull
124 – Peregrine Falcon
125 – Great Grey Shrike

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Linacre - 2nd March 2019

Luke and I had a couple of hours at Linacre yesterday morning, hoping to see, or hear, our first spring migrants. Unfortunately, we didn't see, or hear, any migrants, but we did get some good counts of the waterbirds, and recorded a species that we'd not recorded at Linacre since 2014!

First the waterfowl numbers: Mallard 59, Tufted Duck 29, Mandarin Duck 26, Moorhen 14, Coot 10, Grey Wagtail 2, Great-crested Grebe 5, Canada Goose 2, Black-headed Gull 14.

We also had drumming Great-spotted Woodpecker, Stock Dove (1), Skylark (1 singing), Siskin,  and ….. Red-legged Partridge (2; the first record since 2014).

Red-legged Partridge

Monday, 25 February 2019

Colour-ringed Turnstones - 22nd February 2019

I first reported colour ringed Turnstones in Scarborough Harbour back in 2014, and have seen them in most years ever since. Whilst there on Friday, I managed to add another 5 birds to my list of 14 that I've recorded. All the birds seen so far have been ringed in the harbour.

The five new birds were all ringed in Scarborough Harbour on 21st March 2018, and my sightings were the first since then for 4 of the 5 birds. 1 bird, white over red, was recorded in Shetland on 22nd May 2018, presumably on its way back North to breed. Here are Friday's birds.

green over blue

green over green

green over red

green over yellow

white over (muddy)red

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Darviced Herring Gulls

On Friday 22nd February, whilst in Scarborough, I saw 2 adult Herring Gulls, each carrying a yellow darvic ring, and a metal BTO ring.

The first bird Y:D92, was feeding with the Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls in Holbeck car park.

Y:D92

The second bird was found about half an hour later, stood on a lamppost, with another Herring Gull, on Marine Drive. This bird had darvic ring Y:H42.

Y:H42

Y:D92, was first ringed on 30th June 2017 at a landfill site, Harewood Whin, York, 62km away. My record was the first since then. Y:H42 was first ringed at Seamer Landfill Site in Scarborough in 2007. It was recaptured at Rufforth Waste Disposal Site, York, on 8th July 2017, 62km away. It has been recorded 5 times since at Scalby Mills, Scarborough, before being reported by me.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Scarborough Birding - 22nd February 2019

I spent yesterday in Scarborough with Jayne and Lydia. Whilst there, I had my annual visit to Holbeck Car Park to see the over-wintering Mediterranean Gulls. As always, they put on a great show, with at least  4 different birds being seen, including this adult bird whose black hood was developing very nicely.

Mediterranean Gull

Black-headed Gulls also came down, as did a darvic ringed Herring Gull (more about that in another post).

Our next stop was Marine Drive and the harbour, where we saw our first Fulmars of the year (approx.20 birds back on the cliffs),  1 Rock Pipit, 1 Shag, 15+ Turnstones, including 5 colour-ringed individuals (another post coming), another darviced Herring Gull, and 4 Purple Sandpipers.

Year List update:
112 – Fieldfare (seen on 3rd Feb)
113 – Willow Tit (seen ringing 17th Feb)
114 – Mediterranean Gull
115 – Shag
116 – Fulmar
117 – Rock Pipit
118 – Purple Sandpiper

Friday, 22 February 2019

Lithuanian Black-headed Gull in Bakewell

Back in November 2017 I saw a Lithuanian-ringed  Black-headed Gull with a metal ring in Bakewell. At the time I only managed to get the first 4 digits, HA12.

HA12 _ _ _

I then saw a metal-ringed Lithuanian Black-headed Gull in Bakewell in October 2018, but only managed to get the last two digits, 93!!

_ _ _ _ _ 93

Yesterday I was in Bakewell, and managed to spot the same bird again, and, get the entire ring number... HA12793.


I sent the details off to the Lithuanian Bird Ringing Scheme, and got the details back today (so quick!!). The bird had been ringed on a small island near the city of Klaipeda, 1492km away, on 22/06/11. My records were the first since ringing.