Sunday, 28 June 2015

Nagging Feeling!!!

      Glenarm & Carnlough       
Do you ever get that 'nagging feeling' that you've missed something?, I did.  On Thursday, the day after looking at the Black Guillemots at Glenarm Harbour, my mind was telling me to go back and check again.  On Friday afternoon, I relented and headed down to the coast.

On arriving, the first thing I did, was to search to see if the 1st Summer Iceland Gull was still present.  I quickly spotted it lying down resting within a group of other gulls amongst the boulders close to the sea as the tide was out.  With a photo quickly taken, I scanned through the rest of the gulls and spotted a metal-ringed Herring Gull.  I presumed this is one of the two I spotted on Wednesday, but it was too far away to try and get the numbers.

1st Summer Iceland Gull

My attention now turned to the Black Guillemots that nest in the cavities in the Harbour wall.  Many of the birds drop directly onto the water after feeding their chicks and I could then check them with binoculars for rings.  It did not take long before spotting one with a metal ring.  I encountered this bird several times after feeding its chicks, but with the photos I took, I was unable to make out any of the details on the ring.

Metal-ringed Black Guillemot

Luckily for me, I was soon to spot another ringed Guillemot and this one also bore a yellow Darvic ring.  I patiently sat above the nest-hole and after a couple of return visits, I successfully read the inscription - FT.  I took several photos, but all were useless and it was not until this bird decided to wash itself before I obtained a photo showing the ring and its code - success at last!

Darvic-ringed Black Guillemot  -    FT  

I had already guessed that this was probably one of Julian Greenwood's birds from his study at Bangor Harbour in County Down.  On returning home and on checking the cr-birding site, this Darvic-ringed Black Guillemot was one of Julian's birds.  I emailed Julian with the details and he replied to say that this bird was ringed as a chick on the 3rd July 2005 at the North Pier in Bangor Harbour.  Since it was ringed, mine is the 2nd re-sighting of this bird, as it was previously recorded at Glenarm Harbour on the 17th July 2011.  Bangor is about 23 miles (38km) south of Glenarm.  My thanks go to Julian for supplying the details for this Guillemot.

Before going home, I called in at Carnlough Harbour and though there were only a few Black-headed Gulls, 1 Herring Gull and three Lesser Black-backed Gulls present, I spotted a metal ring on one of the LBBGs.  Unfortunately again for me, this gull flew off and I was unable to get any details on the ring.

Of 5 ringed birds in two visits, disappointingly, I was only able to get details for one of these and that was due to the fact it had a Darvic ring as well.  If I get the time to go back, I'll try again at reading the metal rings.


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