|Black-headed Gulls At Antrim Marina - Sunday 27th August 2017|
Today, saw the fourth of my weekly winter visits to Antrim Marina. A fairly mild day, was probably the reason for low numbers of Black-headed Gulls. One again, with the arrival of the trainee canoeists, a little later than normal (11.20), few gulls remained at the Marina.
My 'winter list', of 'colour-ringed' gulls, stood at 15, after my first three visits. Among the 8 gulls recorded today, saw the return of the Lithuanian-rung - White T35J. This bird had me wondering last winter, as she was absent after the 22nd January 2017. Normally departing in March, I thought something serious may have happened. Now that she's back, I know she's ok. My 'winter list', now increases to 16 'colour-ringed' BHGs.
Black-headed Gulls Sighted on Sunday 27th August 2017
I've added a table, which shows the first and last known dates, of T35J's appearances and departures at the Marina each winter.
Black-headed Gull - Lithuania (White) T35J - Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim (27 Aug 2017)
|03 Jun 2006||Ringed as a Chick||Kretuonas, Lithuania.|
|22 Mar 2011||Re-Ringed by Szymon Bzoma||Pomorskie, Poland. (Darvic Ring also Fitted)|
|05 Apr 2012||Ring Read by D. Norkunas||Utena-Daunisko, Lithuania.|
|12 Oct 2012||Ring Read by Adam D. McClure||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
|02 Jan 2013||Ring Read by Neville D. McKee||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
|21 Sep 2013||Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
|16 Feb 2014||Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
|07 Sep 2014||Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
|15 Mar 2015||Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
|09 Aug 2015||Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
|13 Mar 2016||Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
|29 Jul 2016||Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
|22 Jan 2017||Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
|27 Aug 2017||Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt||Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.|
The young Herring Gull, was not put off by anything happening around the Marina. Even the canoeists, did not deter this bird. One of it's parents arrived at 10.20, giving it a good feed. 10 minutes later, the adult flew off and did not reappear before I departed at 1pm. One Lesser Black-backed Gull and a single Common Gull, put in brief appearances, but were not too fond with the canoeists about.
The pair of Mute Swans, along with their 5 cygnets, even headed off to the Lough at 11.40. Although quite tolerant, even they got fed up with the trainees. At midday, I saw a swan swimming in from the Lough, which I thought might be the male, but this one turned out to be W34158 . This was the first swan that I've seen here, barring the pair with their cygnets, since late May. My last sighting of W34158 , was made on the 29th May 2017 and in the weeks up to that date, around 20 to 30 swans would have been present.
Mallard numbers, were once again quite high, with around 80 birds present throughout my four hour visit. Most of them were checked for rings, but still no joy.
Other species, included 3 Hooded Crows, 12 Jackdaws, 2 Magpies, 1 Rook and 3 Grey Wagtails. During my last three visits to the Marina, I often heard a young Buzzard calling from the woodland opposite. I spotted it briefly today, flying just above the trees.
Elim Church and Antrim KFC
On leaving the Marina, I checked both the Elim Church at Parkhall and the KFC car park for BHGs. Only a single adult, was perched on the roof of the church. 23 Black-headed Gulls, including three juveniles, were present at KFC, but there was still no sign of the Norwegian JK35 .
|Whitehouse Lagoon - Sunday 27th August 2017|
On completion of my visit to Antrim, I only had time to pay a quick visit to Whitehouse Lagoon. Knowing there was an incoming tide, I thought I might stand a good chance of reading any rings, as the incoming water would push the birds towards me.
However, as the tide came in, the gulls and waders, actually started departing, rather than moving towards me. Large numbers of Black-tailed Godwits, moved off to the rocky shoreline on the far side of the Lagoon, which scuppered an idea of checking these for 'colour-rings'.
Over one hundred Oystercatchers, were closer to me and checked for rings, but the only one seen was the Icelandic bird (GW-GfN, which was recorded back on my previous visit.
No sign of the Polish Black-headed Gull - White T56W, but I did spot two of Adam's study birds. The first of these, was 2BNA , my second sighting of this gull, which I spotted here on the 19th October 2016. At that time, this was a first sighting of the gull, since being ringed as a chick in July 2013, on Blue Circle Island, in Larne Lough (20 kms to the north-east). I reported the sighting to Adam and await the latest file on the gull, to see if their have been any further sightings since October 2016.
Black-headed Gull - 2BNA - Whitehouse Lagoon, Co. Antrim (27 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 1st July 2013, at Blue Circle Island, Larne Lough, Co. Antrim)
I had to wait patiently, to read the ring of the second Black-headed Gull. Standing, with it's right leg obscuring the code, I eventually managed to get photos. I thought, I might miss out on this one, as the gull was a long way off. My patience paid off, reading 2AFP , which was a first sighting for me. I've informed Adam, about this one and now await it's details.
Black-headed Gull - 2AFD - Whitehouse Lagoon, Co. Antrim (27 Aug 2017)
(Waiting on Ringing Details)