Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Super Suzie...

      Black-headed Gulls At Antrim Marina - Monday 30th October 2017       
I was not able to visit Antrim Marina this week, as I am recovering from an operation - more on that, at the end of this post.

This is my fifth winter, studying the Black-headed Gulls, at Antrim Marina and up to now, I have not missed a 'weekly visit'.  Knowing, I would not be fit enough, Suzanne Belshaw offered to step in, for the continuity of my Study.  Arriving at 09.45 and departing at 12.15, her effort, recording the gulls, was truely excellent and for this, I offer Suzanne, a big - Thank You.

My 'Winter List' of 'colour-ringed' Black-headed Gulls, totalled 22 birds, having recorded the return of both   2AAR   and   2ADV , on my last visit to the Marina.  Reporting on this, I also mentioned the demise of three other gulls, which I believed had perished.  Surprise, surprise, one of those three appeared during Suzanne's visit.

  2ANS , was last recorded at the Marina, way back, on the 25th June 2017.  Sightings of   2ANS , have always been patchy, although the gull is considered as a 'Resident'.  At least, one of the three, is alive and well.  I'm sure   2ANS , will also be relieved to know - it's still living!!    2ANS , now increases the 'Winter List' to 23 'colour-ringed' Black-headed Gulls.

Black-headed Gull  -    2ANS   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (30 Oct 2017)
(Ringed as a Juvenile / 1st Winter bird, on the 12th November 2015, at Antrim Marina)
(Photo taken by Suzanne Belshaw)

The Lithuanian, (White) T35J, was also recorded by Suzanne.  This gull, which had been absent for the past three weeks, was present throughout her visit.

Black-headed Gull  -  (White)  T35J  -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (30 Oct 2017)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 3rd June 2006, at Lake Kretuonas, Lithuania)
(Photo taken by Suzanne Belshaw)

Arriving at Antrim Marina, Suzanne knew she was on the lookout for 22 'colour-ringed' BHGs.  By the time of her departure, 19 of them were recorded, plus she had the addition of   2ANS .

Now that we are entering the month of November,   2AFD , should arrive back from Latvia, either this coming weekend or the next.  As usual, I will be keeping my fingers crossed, hoping it has survived it's journey's.  With the run of northerly winds, that we are currently experiencing, this should aid gulls returning from Scandinavia and Europe.

As well as   2AFD , it may be possible to see the return of a 'metal-ringed' Black-headed Gull from Iceland.  Recorded during each of the previous four winters, the earliest date of return, was on the 6th November 2016.  Ringed as a chick, in 2003, it is one of the oldest BHGs on my records.

Black-headed Gulls  Recorded at Antrim Marina on Monday 30th October 2017
 2AAB   2AAC   2AAF   2AAK   2AAN   2AAP   2AAR   2AAT   2ABF   2ABK 
 2ABN   2ABS   2ACV   2ADJ   2ADV   2ANS   2BRA   2CJT   T35J   2ABL 

The Absentees
 2AAA   2ABA   2AAV 

On top of Susan's magnificent effort, recording 'colour-ringed' Black-headed Gulls, she also managed to sort out, two 'metal-ringed' birds.  One of these, is   EY37326 , or should I say,   2ABL    2ABL , managed to lose it's colour-ring, as noted on the 12th March 2017.

The second gull, is a completly new sighting.  Although, Suzanne's bridge camera, is not quite as powerful, as my own, she managed to track the gull and obtain enough photographs to complete it's ring number -   EZ22177 .  Suzanne, will report her sighting to the BTO and will forward the ringing details, once received.

New Sighting  -  Black-headed Gull  -    EZ22177   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (30 Oct 2017)
(Waiting on Ringing Details)
(Photo taken by Suzanne Belshaw)

Other Birds at Antrim Marina
Suzanne, did not include the other birds present at Antrim Marina, in her email.  However, a 'metal-ringed' Mute Swan spotted, was -   W34158 , a now regular visitor this winter.


      Ringing Details Received       
The ringing details have now arrived, for a Finnish-rung Black-headed Gull, spotted on the 16th October, at Antrim's, Kentuky Fried Chicken outlet (Photo).  Ringed   ST263.237 , I thought the gull may have been around 10 years of age.  I came to the conclusion, by comparing it's number, with other Finnish gulls, previously recorded.

I'm going to have to eat some 'humble' pie.    ST263.237 , was ringed on the 27th April 2017, on the eastern edge of the Finnish Capital of Helsinki.  The distance, was given as, 1,940 kms / 1,205 miles in a westerly direction, the duration being 5 months and 19 days, since being ringed.

As many 'metals' go un-recorded, at least the ringer, will be pleased to hear of this sighting.


      Post Operation       
Having under-gone an operation last Thursday, at Antrim Area Hospital, I'm now feeling quite well.  Friday and Saturday, were particularly painful days, which I'm glad to see the back of.

If I continue to progress at the rate that I'm currently experiencing, I should be out and about again this weekend.  My Doctor, has put me off work until the 2nd of January, which was also suggested by my night-shift manager.  This is due, to the fact that I undertake a lot of heavy lifting and it will take a few weeks, before I can be on my feet for long periods as well.

Many thanks, to all those who sent text messages or emails, wishing me good luck and a speedy recovery.  They were much appreciated.  Again, Thanks to you All.


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