Thursday, 26 May 2016

Odd Couple - Proof...

There is not much to report about at the minute.  This will change over the next few weeks, when I get into the seabird colonies and also raptor chicks will become large enough to photograph.

      Antrim Marina       
A further two visits have been made to Antrim Marina.  Suzanne Belshaw called by on the 17th May and recorded two of the 'Darvic-ringed' Black-headed Gulls.  I sighted 6 'Darvic's' on the 20th May.  Three of them were first sightings at the Marina this summer -   2ABF ,   2AAC  and   2ANS .

It was great to see   2ANS , sporting it's 'black head'.  This gull will not be of breeding age until next summer.  My sighting probably means this was always a local gull.  Having hatched out last summer, Adam caught and ringed this bird on the 12th November 2015.  It was one of three 'ringed' juveniles that were present at the Marina during last winter.  There has, as yet, been no sightings of the other two, which were 'metal-ringed'.

Not counting   2ANS , all the gulls in the table below, have been sighted during previous summers.  So far, there has not been any surprises.  Continued visits, will help to identify all of the resident Black-headed Gulls.

Black-headed Gulls sighted by Suzanne Belshaw (17th May 2016)
 2ABK   2ADJ 

Black-headed Gulls sighted on the 20th May 2016 (myself)
 2ADD   2ABL   2ABF   2ABK   2ANS   2AAC 

Black-headed Gull  -    2ANS   -  Antrim Marina  (20 May 2016)

 2AAV   2AAP   2AAA   2ADD   2AAH   2ABK   2ABL 
(1/6) (1/6) (2/6) (3/6) (2/6) (3/6) (3/6)
(2/6) (1/6) (3/6) (1/6) (1/6) (1/6)
(Total Sightings / Total Visits)

Mute Swan -   W34158  - was the only other ringed bird to be recorded by Suzanne Belshaw and myself during our latest visits.

My thanks go to Suzanne again for her latest contribution at the Marina.

Mute Swan  -    W34158   -  Antrim Marina  (20 May 2016)

Mute Swan  -    W34158   -  Antrim Marina  (20 May 2016)


      Latest on the Mediterranean Gull x Common Gull Pairing       
I had intended to call by these gulls after completing my visit to Antrim Marina on the 20th May.  Rain started falling quite heavily, so I postponed the visit until the next day.

At last, I now have the proof that these gulls are definitely a pair.  The Med Gull was sitting on the nest, while it's partner was busy adding more grass to the structure.  I am not sure, if this nest has been recently built.  Perhaps, I should have taken more photos of the gulls nests on the rooftop at an earlier date, so as I could compare them.

It will be interesting to see if this 'odd couple' succeed in hatching eggs.  Every time I visit the Marina, I shall be stopping here to keep an eye on events.

Scoping the nests of the Lesser Black-backed, Herring, Common and Black-headed Gulls, one chick was spotted, belonging to a pair of Lesser Black-backed's.  My next visit should see lots of these chicks running about.

Mediterranean x Common Gull on a Nest  -  (21 May 2016)


      Peregrine - Site One       
Checked in on the Peregrines at site one today (26th May) and all appears to be well.  The female is on the ledge, probably brooding small chicks.  The weather has turned colder again, with frequent showers of drizzle or rain.  If there are small chicks, then they should be ready for ringing in about two weeks time.  I think Marc Ruddock, will travel up from County Down to ring these.

Some of the other Raptor nests now have young, but they are still too small to photograph.  Over the next few weeks as they become larger, I will post photos of some of these.

Peregrine  -  Site 1  -  (26 May 2016)


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