Sunday, 22 February 2015

2AAJ - On The Move

      Today's Black-headed Gulls       
Arriving at Antrim Marina at 9am, the temperature was reading 2°C with a dark sky, raining fairly heavily and a light wind was blowing in from the Lough.  The rain finally ceased about 11pm and came on again quite heavily around 12.20.  By mid-morning the temperature had rose to 7°C and so had the wind, which by then was blowing strongly.

About 30 Black-headed Gulls were present when I arrived and numbers built up to a maximum of around 120, before decreasing to about 80 when I left for home at 1pm.  Out of a total of 33 Darvic-rung BHGs that I have recorded this winter, only 19 were re-sighted today.  Of note was the absence of the Lithuanian gull 'White T35J'.  Last Sunday was the corresponding Sunday of last year, when I last saw 'T35J'.  If she has left for the summer, I'll not see her again until next September, if all goes well and nothing should happen to her.

Another BHG that I made special mention of two weeks ago, having last been seen on the 18th January, has been sighted in England.  A report on   2AAJ   can be found below.

I noticed today that   2AAN   was doing exactly the same as 'T35J' did last week.  It got into the thick of it every time people arrived with food.  Maybe this one is stocking up and it's departure could be imminent too.

'One Leg' was present and quite happily took her fill of chips from my hand at the car window.  The young Swedish gull   6438391   was also present.  There's still no sign of the Icelandic BHG   571487  , but it's quite possible I could see him again during March before he heads off back to Iceland.

Every week now when I come up to the Marina, it's quite noticeable with the ringed birds, that their heads are quickly turning black.  Next Sunday is the 1st March, the new breeding season drawing ever closer and my final month of 'Ring Watching' for this winter.  The exodus of BHGs from here has already started and if I'm lucky enough, hope to see one or two new gulls with rings, as they stop by on their way to their breeding grounds.

Black-headed Gulls - Orange 2AAN & 2ABL


Black-headed Gulls Present Today
 2AAD   2ACV   2AAS   2AAR   2AAA   2ADJ   2BRA   2ABA   2ABK   2BRC 
2ABN 2ABP 2AAN 2ABL 2AAF 2AAV 2AAH 2ACX 2AAT


Today's Absentees
 T35J   2AAP   2AAK   2AAC   2ABS   2AAB   2AAL 
2ABF 2AAJ 2ADV 2AFD 2BRB 2BRD 2APT


  2AAJ  has been re-sighted at the harbour of the small coastal village of Seahouses in Northumberland, England.  I received an email from Adam McClure on Tuesday morning with a photo of   2AAJ   attached.  As I had predicted to Adam,    2AAJ   was on the move, being absent from the Marina since the 18th January.

I had suggested, that Adam should email Gary Woodburn, to tip him off about   2AAJ's   possible arrival at Seahouses.  Gary had sighted   2AAJ   there on the 20th February last year and I assumed that this bird may well undertake the exact same migration route.

However, Gary beat Adam to it.  Adam received an email from Gary that   2AAJ   was at Seahouses harbour on the 11th February and attached another photo which proves the gulls have favourite stopover points while migrating.

On Wednesday, I was browsing other birdwatching Blogs, when I stumbled upon one with the exact same photo of   2AAJ  , which had been sent to Adam.  Checking the Blog out, I discovered an article about   2AAJ   in February 2014.  I knew then that this was Gary Woodburn's Blog and made contact with him to get permission to add his photos onto my Blog.

  2AAJ   was only at the Marina on 7 of my weekly visits this winter and only seen once the previous winter.  It would make you wonder if Antrim is it's actual wintering quarters or whether it winters elsewhere and uses Antrim as a stopover.  It would be fantastic, if this bird could be located at it's breeding ground, wherever that may be.

My thanks to Gary Woodburn for allowing me to use his photos.  

Black-headed Gull - Orange 2AAJ   (Photo Courtesy of Gary Woodburn)
(Seahouses, Northumberland, England - 11 Feb 2015)

Black-headed Gull - Orange 2AAJ   (Photo Courtesy of Gary Woodburn)
(Seahouses, Northumberland, England - 20 Feb 2014)

Date Details Location
12 Dec 2012 Ringed as an Adult by Adam D. McClure Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
16 Dec 2012 Ring Read by Nigel Ireland Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
23 Jan 2013 Ring Read by Adam D. McClure Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
15 Dec 2013 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
20 Feb 2014 Ring Read by Gary Woodburn Seahouses, Northumberland, England.
07 Dec 2014 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
18 Jan 2015 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
11 Feb 2015 Ring Read by Gary Woodburn Seahouses, Northumberland, England.
Black-headed Gull - Orange 2AAJ
(Key Dates Including First & Last Winter Sightings At Antrim Marina)

Antrim Marina to Seahouses   -   307 km North-East (191 Miles)

On Friday afternoon (20th February), I called into The Peoples Park in my home town of Ballymena.  An estimated 120 Black-headed Gulls were present on the lake and nearby rooftops.  Every now and again I check for any ringed gulls present, especially Adam's BHG   2BKP  , which I last saw here on the 29th November 2014.

There was no sign of this young gull, but I spotted an adult BHG with a metal ring on the roof of the parks Pavilion.  Just my luck, I only had binocular's and the camera with me.  I went home to get the telescope and 10 minutes later, was all set up to see if this gull would turn up again.  I did not have to wait long, when it landed back onto the same roof.

On scoping this bird's ring, I immediately spotted Brussels and therefore knew I had a BHG from Belgium.  With quite a bit of patience, I managed to obtain the first 5 numbers of the ring.  As it was late in the afternoon, this gull joined a large group and flew south away from the Park.  I knew straight away, they were off to their roost.

Guessing the ring would contain 6 or 7 numbers, I went back to The Peoples Park the next morning, but only saw this gull once over the course of three visits and was not able to get the full number.  Adam McClure confirmed with me, that the ring would contain seven digits and this is the first Belgium bird to be sighted within the Northern Ireland Black-headed Gull Study.  As ever, I'll keep trying and hopefully obtain the last two digits in order to report the sighting.

Black-headed Gull - Belgium (Brussels 30294**)

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      Other Birds       
There was a distinct lack of Common Gulls today.  A single adult appeared at 11.15 and stayed through the remainder of my visit.  Numbers had decreased last week, maybe these birds are leaving the area as well.  A pair of Herring Gulls were present all morning and a single juvenile and adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls also arrived just after 11am.

12 Mute Swans on my arrival were joined by pairs at 10.55 and 12.20.  Most of them stayed on the river.  Of the nine that exited the river, only two were ringed -   Z91981   and   Z91982  .

Mallard numbers were also down. About 20 birds at first, rising to a max of about 60.  The male County Monaghan rung Mallard   4MN 0813   was first spotted at 10.28.

A single Cormorant appeared briefly, but did not get peace to dry it's wings and was soon off to the Lough again.

1 pair of Moorhens, 5 Hooded Crows and 12 Jackdaws made up the larger birds.  Single pairs of Chaffinch, Pied Wagtail and a Grey Wagtail were the only smaller birds to be seen.

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Sunday, 15 February 2015

An Average Day...


      Today's Black-headed Gulls       
It was very much like a spring morning when I arrived at the Marina at 9am.  The temperature reading 8°C, a 50/50 blue and grey sky and with a slight breeze coming in from the Lough, conditions were great for this period of February.  By the time I departed at 2pm, the wind was very much stronger and colder, though the temperature had risen to 10°C.

With the 4 Black-headed Gulls that were ringed a fortnight ago and the sighting last Sunday of the BHG from the Moorfoot Hills in Scotland, my total of Darvic's this winter has risen to 33.  There are still 3 others from last winter, that have not appeared as yet.  One of these,   2ADD  appeared on this corresponding Sunday last year and I was dearly hoping to see it today.  I do know it has been seen at Carrickfergus, which is not far from here, perhaps next Sunday.    2ADV   turned up again today after being absent for three weeks, it hasn't left yet after all.

One of the aims of my weekly visits, is to build up a picture of the arrival and departure dates of these gulls each year.  They do not work with timetables, unlike us, but some of these birds are fairly precise in their comings and goings.  It's just a pity, I did not get involved sooner last winter in order to record arrival dates, but I do have a good record of departure dates.

I only come to the Marina for four, sometimes 5 hours each Sunday, but I can define each birds movements on a weekly basis.  It is also possible to gauge how reliant the BHGs are, to being fed at the Marina.  An example is the Polish breeding   2AAR  , which arrived back on the weekend of 19th October and can boast a 100% Sunday attendance rate.  Whereas   2AAV  , which is a year-round resident in the Antrim area, has a habit of disappearing for a week or weeks, probably in the know of another good source to obtain food.

  2AAN   which arrived back on the weekend of  the 17th August, was not present today and is another bird that could boast 100% attendance.  However, the last date that it was seen last winter, was on the 16th February.  Could it be possible, this one has departed?  The Lithuanian 'T35J', was also present today, this being the corresponding Sunday when it was last observed in 2014.  I noticed that she got stuck into the mix many times today when people arrived to feed the birds, maybe a sign that she going to leave as well.

There was no sign of last week's Scottish BHG (2APT).  The young Swedish bird   6438391   was present, as was 'One Leg', which started taking chips from my hand about 1pm.  Still no sign of the Icelandic bird   571487  , although I did spot a metal-ringed gull at 13.20.  I noticed that it was not a BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) ring, as it was taller, so it had to be foreign.  Despite seeing this bird on two occasions, I could not get the number, as there were too many people and kids running about.  This may have been the Icelandic BHG.

In the region of 250 BHGs were present between 12.30 to 13.15 and by 13.50, there were no gulls to be seen, all having flown out to the Lough.  Many of the gulls heads are now turning 'black' and more signs of courtship were displayed at times today.

Black-headed Gull - Orange 2ADV
 (Absent Over the Last Three Weeks)

Black-headed Gull - Orange 2AAB
(Sporting a Near Black Head)




Black-headed Gulls Present Today
 2BRA   T35J   2ABK   2AAP   2AAD   2AAH   2ABP   2ABS 
2AAS 2ACV 2ABF 2AAC 2AAB 2AAR 2ABL 2AAT
2AAF 2AAA 2ACX 2ABA 2AAK 2ADJ 2ADV 2AAV

The Absentees
 2ABN   2AAL   2AAN   2AAJ   2AFD   2BRB   2BRC   2BRD   2APT 

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      Other Birds       
A total of 18 Mute Swans were present when I arrived this morning, but the total only decreased as the morning wore on.  Half of these stayed on the river, but 4 rings were recorded at the slipway.  These being   W34158  ,   Z91981  ,   Z91982   and   Z91983    Z91983's   appearance, is the first in weeks.  Chris Smith had reported to me, of a swan seen near the cafe, that was dead.  A woman had informed him about it, but never mentioned if the swan was brown or white.  I had pondered on the thought, it could have been our missing cygnet or   Z91983  , both regular's at the Marina.  At least I now know, that it's not   Z91983  .  A fifth swan on the river, was also ringed, but never left the river.  I was unable to read it's ring number, when it's leg was raised up.  The number faced away from me and all I could read was 'British Museum'.

The number of Common Gulls was well down this week.  The best I got was 7 adults and 2 1st winter birds.  It took till 1.41, before the Scottish-rung   EY64036   showed up, making it the 8th adult.  Just as well I stayed for an extra hour today.  Perhaps these gulls are starting to vacate the Marina as well, bearing in mind, four 1st winter birds that were not shy when looking for food, were not here either.  A juvenile 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gull also appeared for a short time.

35 Mallard were counted and as the morning stretched, the numbers rose to about 80.  The male County Monaghan Mallard   4MN 0813   was only seen once at 11.51.  Across the river, I noticed a good bit of courtship behaviour and in once case, four drakes were chasing after a single female Mallard on foot through the trees in the wood opposite the Marina.

Hooded Crows, Jackdaws and the pair of Moorhens, made up the bigger birds.  The usual pair of Pied Wagtails were present all morning.  Chaffinch's made a good showing throughout.  Coming and going, the numbers ranged from one to six.  I saw a ringed Chaffinch here last winter, but none of today's birds were ringed.

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Scottish BHG...


      Black-headed Gulls       
Around 11.35 this morning, I spotted a White Darvic and this time it was not 'T35J'.  I quickly scoped the code on the ring, before taking some photos.  It took two attempts, to obtain the number on this bird's metal-ring.  My new Black-headed Gull's rings were White 2APT and EY21597.  Once, I got back home, I downloaded and named my photos.  This done I checked the cr-birding site to find the ringer and duly sent an email at 13.49, to report this gull along with a photo attached.

I was gobsmacked when I received a reply 12 minutes later from Tom Dougall.  This Black-headed Gull was ringed as a chick on the 16th June 2013 at a breeding colony in the Moorfoot Hills, on the Scottish Borders.  My sighting is the first for this gull and the first from this colony to be seen in Northern Ireland.  The furthest west that any gulls from this colony, that had been previously sighted, was in Argyll.  There is a nature reserve at Gladhouse Reservoir, just South of Edinburgh, which has a couple of islands.  It's possibly the sight where this bird was ringed.  The distance from here to Antrim Marina is 230km (143 miles), South West.

This may well be the same gull that eluded me on the 4th January.  Anyhow, that's another result and a quick one at that.  My Thanks to Tom on a super-quick response.  Thank You.


Black-headed Gull - White 2APT (EY21597)


On arrival at the Marina today, the temperature was reading 1°C and there was a thin fog and no wind.  The fog persisted throughout my four hour visit and the temperature only rose to 3°C.  My feet felt like blocks of ice, by the time I departed.

Around 60 Black-headed Gulls were present and numbers quickly rose to around 110 by 10pm and 200+ by midday.  Only a dozen or so remained when I left for home at 1pm.

With last Sunday's four newly ringed BHGs, I was on the search for 32 Darvics.  My total for the day reached 25, which included all four of the new recruits.  One of these,   2BRA  , amused me on several occasions, by trying to remove both of it's rings.  It's now a week since it was ringed and obviously has not got used to them as yet.

Black-headed Gull - Orange 2BRA (Trying to Remove it's Ring)

  2AAV   showed up again today, after being absent for the last three weeks.  I know from my Summer re-sightings, this bird is a resident in the Antrim area.  Although it goes missing from time to time, I know it will show up again.  The 'One eyed'   2AAL   is now absent for the fourth week running and   2ADV   for a third week.  The last re-sightings for these two birds last winter, were on the 23rd and 2nd February, respectively.    2AAJ   is still absent as well. It was re-sighted at Seahouses in Northumberland on the third week of February last year.  Its looking as if all three of these birds are on their way to their breeding grounds.

Going by my records from last winter, next Sunday will be the last we'll see of 'T35J' and   2AAN  , if they don't leave during this week.

The Swedish 1st Winter BHG   6438391   was re-sighted at 10.32.  I was right when I predicted that this youngster would remain at the Marina.  It is now very settled to life here.  'One Leg' was absent today, as was the Icelandic BHG   571487  .


Black-headed Gulls Present
 2AAS   2ACV   2AAT   T35J   2AAD   2BRB   2ABS   2ABF   2AAC 
2AAP 2BRA 2ABP 2AAH 2AAR 2AAA 2BRD 2AAN 2ABN
2ABL 2ABK 2AAK 2AAV 2ACX 2AAF 2BRC


Today's Absentees
 2ADJ   2ABA   2AAB   2AAL   2AAJ   2ADV   2AFD 


Black-headed Gull - Orange 2ABL (Fog in Background)


Black-headed Gull - Orange 2AAA (Last Sunday)


Another Visit to Carnlough and Glenarm
Yesterday (Saturday 7th February), I decided to drive back to the villages of Carnlough and Glenarm.  My target was the Lough Mask - Black-headed Gull (Yellow 260D), that I sighted on the 6th January at Glenarm.

I went to Carnlough first and parked in the car park of the small playground beside the beach.  Unfortunately, there was a high tide and the gulls were resting on pebbles and boulders where the Glencloy River enters the sea.  They were quite a distance away, so I grabbed the telescope and tripod and walked towards them.  As I got nearer, some of the gulls took to the wing and dropped onto the sea.  Not going any closer, I sat down and started scoping.

About 30 Common Gulls and roughly same number again in Black-headed Gulls, were mixed in together, also 10 Oystercatchers and 12 Curlews were present.  I spent about 30 minutes looking at legs.  Only one ring was seen and this was a metal-ring on a Common Gull, probably the same bird as I saw here on January 6th.

I then drove round to Glenarm and pulled into the seafront car park.  There were 19 Black-headed Gulls standing in the middle of the car park and I drove slowly passed them, but none were ringed.  This time, I had a mixture of bread and chips with me.  I parked close to the grass well away from the other cars and started feeding the gulls.

Within minutes, I was surrounded by about 60 BHGs, including my target bird - Yellow 260D, so it was still here.  Last month, I only got a partial number of this bird's metal ring, but managed to get the rest of the number today.  I find it very satisfying to get the metal-ring numbers as well - EW67160.

Next, I drove round and parked at the harbour and started scoping the gulls on the nearby rooftops.  Here was a mixture of Black-headed Gulls, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls, which also included 1st winter and 2nd/3rd winter birds.

To my delight, I spotted a sub-adult Herring Gull with a metal-ring.  On driving closer, many of the gulls flew away.  I parked in a good position, to enable myself to get a better view of the legs, but unfortunately, my gull never reappeared.  I have yet to record a ringed Herring Gull, but will have another go, probably at the start of March.


Black-headed Gull - Yellow 260D (EW67160)


****************

      Other Birds       
With Adam not about this week, I was again more concentrated in the birds around the Marina, especially the Common Gulls.  Eleven adults and three 1st winter birds, were the maximum I counted at any one time.  These included the Scottish-rung   EY64036  , that appeared at 11.28.  The number of these birds are holding up quite well, compared to last winter.  One thing I have noticed with these gulls, is the marked difference in size and markings of each bird.  No two birds are anywhere near alike.

A single Herring Gull was present from time to time and two juvenile/1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gulls were present practically the whole time.

There were 10 adult Mute Swans present when I arrived at the Marina and no others appeared.  Most stayed in the water and the only ring to be noted was that of   W34158  .

An estimated 40 Mallards, doubled in number, as the morning wore on.  No sign today of the County Monaghan Male Mallard   4MN 0813  .

Another first for me here today, was a small flock of Goldfinch's.  They appeared to be eating sand beside the long jetty.  Although they did not stay long when I first saw them, the reappeared again later in the morning and seemed to be eating the sand again.  Antrim Council recently did some work here and it seemed as if they laid down new sand beside the jetty.  I wonder if this is what's attracting the Goldfinch's?

Both of the Moorhens were together today.  Hooded Crows, Jackdaws and the usual pair of Pied Wagtails, were the only other species to be be seen.

****************

Sunday, 1 February 2015

New Sightings...


      Black-headed Gulls       
It was a nice frosty start to the morning, when I arrived at the Marina around 09.05.  The temperature was reading 0°C, with a 75% blue sky and a light, but chilly breeze.  All birds were nicely settled and a head count of the Black-headed Gulls present, totalled 110.  In the distance, a good 50+ more BHGs were perched beside the breakwater at the entrance to the Lough, taking full advantage of the sunshine.

With 28 Darvic-rung BHGs to watch out for, I had re-sighted 17 of these by 10.31.  At around this time, the first of today's three new sightings appeared - Adam McClure.  Adam is the organiser of the Northern Ireland Black-headed Gull Study and in all the time we have known each other, have never met or even talked on the phone.  All correspondence has been via emails or text messages.

I did know however, that Adam would be at the Marina today and would try and catch some gulls to ring.  We chatted a bit and I helped him to catch and process four new BHGs.  With many of the gulls having been fed early by visitors, the edge had been taken off their hunger and they were cautious and hard to catch.  The only really keen gulls, were those that had been ringed in the past and 'One Leg'.

Adam only stayed a short time, as he had to be elsewhere for 1pm.  I re-sighted another 5 Darvic-rung gulls by 12.30, to take the day's total to 22.  Although I stayed to 2pm, no other Darvics were re-sighted, other than 3 of today's newly rung gulls.

These four new Darvics now takes my overall total to 35 over the two winters at the Marina, now 32 for this winter.  The three that have not appeared as yet are,   2BAS  ,   2ADA   and   2ADD  .

Of the 6 absent birds today, four of these were not present last week either.    2AAL   and   2AAV   are absent for the third week running.  Interestingly,   2AAJ   is missing for a second week in a row, and could it be possible that it has already started its migration north, bearing in mind, that it was spotted in Northumberland, England on the third week of February last year.

When I departed at 2pm, there were only about 30 BHGs remaining.  All the others and the Common Gulls, must have received their fill of food from the visitors and departed towards the Lough.

Black-headed Gulls  -    2AAD   &    2ABS   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (01 Feb 2015)

Black-headed Gull  -  Lithuania (White) T35J  -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (01 Feb 2015)
(Nice Frosty Looking Decking)


Black-headed Gulls Present Today
 2ACX   2ABS   2ABP   2ABK   2AAT   2ABL   2AAA   2ACV   2AAP   2AAC   T35J 
2ADJ 2ABN 2AAR 2ABF 2AAS 2AAD 2AAK 2AAB 2AFD 2AAF 2AAN


Today's Absentees
 2AAH   2ABA   2AAL   2AAV   2AAJ   2ADV 


BHGs Ringed Today
 2BRA   2BRB   2BRC   2BRD 


(Ringed Today)  Black-headed Gull  -    2BRB   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (01 Feb 2015)

There is still no sign of the Icelandic-rung BHG   571487  .  The Swedish 1st Winter BHG   6438391   was present and spotted by Adam.  On Tuesday, I received an email from the Swedish Ringing Centre at the Swedish Museum of Natural History, with the ringing details of this gull attached.

It was ringed as a nestling on the 17th June 2014 on the island of Axviks Hällar, which is situated in an inlet of the Baltic Sea, called Himmererfjärden, about 38km (24 miles) South-West of the Swedish Capital of Stockholm.

The distance from this tiny island to Antrim Marina is 1,522km (946 miles) South-West.  This youngster, would not have flown this directly.  Possibly the most likely route taken, would be westwards through Norway, crossing the North Sea into Scotland and then on to Northern Ireland.

I would like to thank the Swedish Ringing Centre for their quick response on sending the ringing details.  I know they have a backlog of recoveries to process and I must confess to grovelling a wee bit, but it paid off.  I had asked for a reply 'asap', as I wanted to obtain the details for my Blog.  I added my Blog address and they had a look - which probably helped.

It took a fair bit of work to get this young gull's number etc., but it has paid off.  I have a contact in Sweden (who wants to remain anonymous), but he also helped me track down the island where this young gull was ringed, as it is not featured on either Google or Bing Maps.  A BIG THANK YOU - to you as well (C-G M), also my thanks again to Graham Prole and Chris Smith for their help.

Another result gained! 



****************

      Other Birds       
Two adult Common Gulls were mixed in with BHGs when I arrived this morning.  It seemed that the maximum numbers of Common Gulls, coincided with Adam's visit to the Marina and I failed to get an accurate head count of these birds.  Though there was quite a few around at that time, numbers quickly decreased.  The best I could get was 7 adults and 3 1st Winter birds.  I re-sighted the Scottish-rung   EY64036   at 11.11.  There were no Lesser Black-backed or Herring Gulls to be seen today.

6 adult Mute Swans on my arrival were soon joined by another 2 and the total reached 13 a short time later.  Another pair arrived just before 1.30 to take the total to 15 adults in all.  Today's second new sighting was recorded at 12.54.  On August 31st last year, I received the ringing information on the Mute Swans   W34156   and   W34158   from the British Trust for Ornithology.  I stated at that time, there was likely to be a   W34157   floating about somewhere, a ring I've never recorded - well I have now!!  It is also the first swan I've seen with the ring upside-down.  I tried to get a photo of this swan, but it hastily retreated back into the river.

  W34157   would have been ringed by Ken Perry on the 17th March last year at Antrim Marina along with   '56   and   '58  .  From time to time Ken takes trainee ringers to the Marina, to ring larger birds as part of their training.    W34158   and   Z91982   were also recorded today.

Mute Swan  -    W34157   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (01 Feb 2015)

Less than 20 Mallard were present on my arrival, but numbers increased slowly over the morning to about 80, by the time I left for home.  The male County Monaghan Mallard   4MN 0813   was re-sighted at 13.05.

Only one Moorhen today, now that's a surprise, I wonder where it's partner went.

A pair of Blue Tits potted about the Crack Willow tree for quite some time.  They appeared to be looking for crevices or holes, possibly as a nest-site in the Spring.

A Robin was the third new sighting for me at the Marina, never saw any here before.  The Pied Wagtail pair were present throughout.  Hooded Crows, Jackdaws and a single Rook were the only other species to be seen today.

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