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.


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: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.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Linacre Nestboxes

This week is the BTO's National Nestbox Week, so I decided to go down to Linacre to check on our nestboxes, and make sure that they are all as they were at the end of last year's breeding season. In total, we have 90 boxes in and around Linacre; 84 tit boxes, 5 "owl" boxes and a "Little Owl" box, so I was on site for 3 hours.

Most of the boxes were fine, but several had lost their lids over the winter, and one was found laying on the floor. Thankfully, I'd taken my repair kit with me, so all the boxes are now back in place ready for the birds, and this year's BTO's Nest Recording Scheme.

Whilst on site I recorded a few birds, including my first Red Kite since 2014 (!), the first 2019 Linacre record of Canada Geese (a pair) and a pair of Stock Dove inspecting one of the nest boxes!!

Canada Geese

Monday, 18 February 2019

Old Friends and New

I had a bit of a "gull tour" today, visiting a couple of well known sites to see if I could catch up with some ringed Black-headed Gulls that I recorded earlier in the year (see here). As the title of this post hints, I managed to find some, but also added some new "friends" to expanding list.

First stop this morning was Rufford Country Park, in Nottinghamshire. Two of the five gulls I found two weeks ago were still around; namely EUM3, a Dutch-ringed bird and V77K, a Danish-ringed bird. Both birds were still on the lake coming to bread.

The next stop was Alvaston Park in Derby, where Jayne and I had 4 ringed gulls in November 2018 (see here). Although I only found one of these, VA4073, a Danish-ringed bird, I did find a new adult bird with the metal ring number S_ _ _ _ 70. As you can see, I only managed to get 3 of the 7 digits, so I can't say where this one came from...yet!

Whilst at Alvaston I did, however, find 2 new darvic-ringed Canada Geese - U48 (5280238) and 2N5 (5262968). Both birds had been ringed 17km away at the University of Nottingham's lake. U48 was ringed on 23/06/17, and has only been reported once, at the place of ringing, before my report. 2N5 was ringed on 09/07/16, and was recaptured on 23/06/17, at the same site, before being reported by me today (the first record away from Nottingham).



Other birds seen at Alvaston were Ring-necked Parakeet (heard), Shoveler and Common Gull (c.5 adults and first winter/2nd calendar year birds).

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Linacre WeBS - February 2019

This month's WeBS count took place yesterday morning, and the following birds were counted; Mallard 64, Mandarin Duck 28, Tufted Duck 27, Coot 7, Moorhen 10, Cormorant 2, Goosander 4; 2 males and 2 females - my first Linacre record since January 2018!), Great-crested Grebe 6; including 1 pair displaying, Black-headed Gull 70 and Kingfisher 1. In amongst the Mallards was this single, all white duck, first seen last month.

The woods were full of birds enjoying the 8 degree warmth and sunshine with many species recorded singing including Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Song and Mistle Thrush, Nuthatch, Goldcrest and Coal Tit. There were also at least 3 Great-spotted Woodpeckers drumming, a large flock of Siskin in the Larches by the middle reservoir and my first Stock Dove record for Linacre in 2019.

Monday, 4 February 2019

More Darvic'ed Black-headed Gulls!

This winter has been phenomenal for the number of darvic and metal-ringed Black-headed Gulls that me and my nephew, Luke, have been able to find in Derbyshire and neighbouring Nottinghamshire (17 and counting to date). Today I managed to add not 1, not 2, but another 5 to the list!!! (22 in total).

All five were found at Rufford Country Park in Nottinghamshire. When Jayne and I arrived, the lake was about 95% frozen, and there were at least 200 Black-headed Gulls (and up to 10 Common Gulls) on the ice. As we approached the café, there were several families feeding the Mallards and Canada and Greylag Geese, which, in turn, attracted in approximately 30 - 40 Black-headed Gulls.

The first colour-ringed bird that we found was EUM3, a Dutch ringed adult bird. This bird had been ringed 395km away, on Benthuizerplas, a breeding colony near Zoetermeer, The Netherlands (see here), as a chick, on 27th May 2017. It was first seen at Rufford in November 2018, and has been reported there, throughout the winter.


The next bird, P519, was another adult. This bird had been ringed, as an adult, 1456km away, in Klaipeda, Lithuania on 1st April 2010 (8 years, 10 months and 2 days ago). This bird had also been seen at Rufford before, on 8th January 2018, so is possibly a regular wintering bird.


The third bird, an adult, V77K, was a Danish bird. This bird had been ringed on the island of Hirsholm (see here), 911km away, as a pullus, on 12/06/15. The first record since ringing was at Rufford on 16/11/18 by Dean (from our ringing group), followed by my sighting.


The final two birds (217A and 221A) were perhaps the most exciting, as they had been ringed by a member of the Ringing Group I am part of (Sorby Breck Ringing Group) in January this year.


217A, a 1st winter bird (born in 2018), was ringed on 17th January 2019 at Center Parcs, approximately 3km away. 

The final bird, 221A, was ringed, as an adult, on 19th January 2019, approximately 15km away in Creswell.


It will be interesting to see if these wintering birds will relocate abroad in the spring, or whether they'll hang around and breed in this area.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Year List Update - 2nd February 2019

It's been a while since I updated the 2019 Year List, and, as you can see, there are a few new additions.

The Song Thrush was heard singing at Linacre on 26th whilst the Water Rail was heard down at Holmebrook Valley Park.

The Raven and Dipper were both seen today, whilst walking through Monsal Dale, and the last four species, 108 - 111, were all seen on the feeders at Shilito Woods.

Year List update:
104 – Song Thrush
105 - Water Rail
106 – Raven
107 – Dipper
108 – Lesser Redpoll
109 – Brambling
110 – Reed Bunting
111 – Yellowhammer