Monday, 30 October 2017

From Suzanne Belshaw...

      From Suzanne Belshaw       
It has taken a while, but Suzanne recently received the ringing details for two Black-headed Gulls from Adam's NI Study.  Having had no reply from Adam, Suzanne eventually reported her sightings to the BTO.

One of the gulls, was spotted way back in May, at the Kiltonga Nature Reserve, in Newtownards, County Down.    2ARH , was ringed as a chick, on the 19th June 2013, on Mew Island, part of the Copeland Islands, situated just off the County Down coast.  Searching through my emails, to find a photo of   2ARH , taken by Suzanne, I came across another email, sent to me by Adam, back in 2016.

It detailed the first sighting of   2ARH , since being ringed.  Stephen Maxwell, spotted the gull on the 16th June 2016, at the RSPB's (Window on Wildlife) Reserve, on the Belfast Harbour Estate.  It was probable, that   2ARH , actually bred on one of the two nesting platforms there.

As I write this, I am now wondering, if   2ARH , has changed it's breeding site.  I've never been to Kiltonga, during the breeding season, so I have no idea whether Black-headed Gulls actually breed on the site.  I've just sent an email to Suzanne, with my query, but I will not get a reply before I post this article.

The distance from Mew Island, to the Belfast Reserve, is 23 kms / 14 miles (SW), and Mew to Kiltonga is 18 kms / 11 miles (SW).  The duration, up to Suzanne's sighting on the 13th May 2017, was 3 years, 10 months and 24 days.

I emailed Stephen yesterday, asking if I could use his photo for this post.  My thanks goes to Stephen for his quick reply.

Black-headed Gull  -    2ARH   -  Kiltonga Nature Reserve, Co. Down  (13 May 2017)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 19th June 2013, on Mew Island (Copelands), Co. Down)
(Photo taken by Suzanne Belshaw)

Black-headed Gull  -    2ARH   -  RSPB Reserve, Belfast Harbour Estate  (16 Jun 2016)
(Photo Courtesy of Stephen Maxell)

The second Black-headed Gull, was a more recent sighting.  On the 6th October 2017, Suzanne spotted   2CJL , at Lurgan Park, in County Armagh.  This gull, was ringed as a chick last year (3rd July 2016), on Blue Circle Island, Larne Lough, Co. Antrim.

As Adam, has not replied to emails, we have no idea, whether this was a first sighting of   2CJL .  Lurgan Park, is situated 18 kms / 11 miles (SW), from Blue Circle Island.

My thanks to Suzanne for sharing her sightings.

Black-headed Gull  -    2CJL   -  Lurgan Park, Co. Armagh  (06 Oct 2017)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 3rd July 2016, on Blue Circle Island, Co. Antrim)
(Photo taken by Suzanne Belshaw)


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