Wednesday, 7 March 2018

First Bar-tailed Godwit...

This is going to be a brave lengthy post.  With several 'new' ring sightings, along with the receipt of a few ringing recoveries and other reports, I do not have time today, to complete my latest post.  I'll do my best to finish it tomorrow, but at present, I can see through my 'Flag Counter', several people are looking for my latest publication.  


      Antrim Marina - Monday 5th March 2018       
Once again, I postponed my usual Sunday visit to Antrim Marina, opting to go on Monday instead.  One of the reasons, for my Monday visits, was my hope of catching one or two more gulls to be ringed.  With fewer people about, I thought I had a better chance of capturing some birds.  They, on the other hand, are not falling for my tricks.  Some of the gulls however, are coming to the window of my car, taking bread from my hand.  Their approach, was from the wrong angle, to try and safely scoop them in.

Although, very overcast when I arrived, the rain held of till 12.00, at which time, heavy rain started to fall and I therefore decided to end my visit at that point.  Black-headed Gulls, were present throughout my visit, with numbers varying from around 80 to 150 birds.  There was a light breeze, but the temperature only reached 4°C.

With a total of 38 'colour-ringed' Black-headed Gulls recorded at the Marina, this winter, 25 of them were recorded today.    2ADD , which is about due to make his return, is still 'parked' across Antrim Town, at the KFC outlet.  As stated in my previous post, I thought that it was unlikely that  2ADD , would appear today, which means, that if my prediction is correct, he should appear at the Marina on my next visit.  He is the only 'colour-ringed' BHG, that I'm waiting on here, this winter. 

Colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls at Antrim Marina on Monday 5th March 2018
 2CJT   2AAT   2AAP   2ADJ   2CSR   2CSF   2CSA   2BRA   2AAR 
 2AAC   2ABS   2ABF   2CSK   2AAK   2CSB   2CSJ   T35J   2AAA 
 2AAN   2CSC   2ABL   2CSL   2ABK   2CSS   2ABN       

A notable absentee today, was  2ACV .  It has been recorded, every week, since it's return to the Marina, on the 3rd September 2017.     2ACV , has been recorded at Leighton Moss, in Lancashire, in the breeding season and may well breed there somewhere, as yet unconfirmed.  The last sighting of  2ACV , here, last winter, was made on the 5th March 2017.  Perhaps a 'Ring Reader' in Lancashire, will spot  2ACV , this spring.

Today's Absentees
 2ABA   2AAB   2AAV   2AAF   2ACV   2ADV   2AFD 
 2BRC   2BRD   2ANS   2CSD   2CSH   2CST    

Another BHG, which I mentioned last week, was the juvenile/1st winter -  2CSS .  It had not been seen, since it was caught and ringed, on the 4th January 2018, until Thursday 22nd February.  My ringing trainer, John Clarke, along with Ken Perry, spotted   2CSS , during their visit to Antrim Marina.  I then spotted  2CSS , last Monday (26th February), but it flew off before I could get a photo.

Today,  2CSS , was the 24th 'colour-ringed' BHG, to be spotted.  Located on the grass, the ring was not easy read, but I still managed to get a photo this time.

Black-headed Gull  -    2CSS   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (05 Mar 2018)
(Ringed as a Juvenile/1st Winter Bird, on the 4th January 2018, at Antrim Marina)

Other Birds at Antrim Marina
On my arrival at Antrim Marina, 14 Mute Swans, along with two cygnets were already present.  I cut my visit short, as a heavy shower of rain, just after 12.00, swayed my decision to depart.  Most of the swans, exited the river at some point and two 'metal-rings' were read - the regularly recorded  W34158  and the recent returnee  W34156 .

Mallard numbers, are still not great.  With around 30 birds on my arrival, a head count about 11.40, gave a total of 53 birds.  Still, no more rings spotted on any of these, with just one recorded this winter.

A single adult Common Gull, appeared very early on, but numbers gradually increased to a total of 6 adults and 2 first winter birds.  Neither of the two 'metal-ringed' birds, from Scotland and Finland, appeared.  I had hoped for a third sighting this winter of the 22 year old Finnish bird, before it departs from Lough Neagh.  All records of this gull here, have been in the months of January and February, so a March record seems unlikely.  Looks, as if, I'll have to wait till next January, before I see this bird again, should it survive for another year.

The first bird from the Herring Gull pair, arrived at 10am, it's partner appearing at 11.30.  Between these times, a juvenile, put in a brief appearance.

A pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, arrived, just after 11am, staying for around 20 minutes.  I've noticed an increase in the numbers of this species, whilst on my travels, so they are arriving back in good numbers.  On my way to the Marina this morning, I glanced across at the site where a large number of these gulls breed and spotted a few birds on the rooftop of the Tesco Warehouse at Kilbegs.

Other birds recorded at the Marina, were, 5 Hooded Crows, 7 Jackdaws, 2 Moorhens, a pair of Pied Wagtails and a female Chaffinch.

Antrim's Elim Church, KFC and Baptist Church
As now customary, if  2AAV , is not at the Marina, I check it's other favourite haunt at the Elim Church, in Antrim's Parkhall Housing Estate.  Using bread as a lure,  2AAV , arrived along with around 30 other Black-headed Gulls.  When at the Church,  2AAV , will hover outside my car window, a habit which it does not do, when at the Marina.

Moving on to the nearby car park at Antrim's KFC outlet,  2ADD , arrived with me, as soon as I parked in my usual spot.  Going by past records, today's sighting should be the last of  2ADD  here, as it is now due to complete it's journey to Antrim Marina, where it will be seen throughout the breeding season.  Having, built up profiles, on many gulls, I'm sticking my neck out on predictions, but I'm usually correct.

While at the Kentucky car park, I spotted a second Black-headed Gull, with an Orange Darvic.  It turned out to be  2CSL , whom I had recorded at Antrim Marina, just a short time previously.     2CSL , is one of the gulls, caught and ringed at the Marina, this winter.

Finishing off, at Antrim's Baptist Church, the gulls were not so obliging today.  Many birds preferred to remain on the grassy areas, with their pools of water.  Legs are impossible to view from the road and the gate to the front of the Church was locked.  I parked behind the Baptist Church and waited on gulls landing on the roof.  Only a handful of birds appeared, but no rings were spotted.


      Ringing Details Received       
Several Ringing Recoveries and reported sightings (from Ian Enlander and Suzanne Belshaw), have been received.  One of these, was a Black-headed Gull, that I spotted at Millisle, last December, and my 'tongue in cheek', reporting of a 'colour-ringed' Whooper Swan, which has been accepted.

Black-headed Gull  -  EW48510
I spotted this Black-headed Gull, at Millisle, on December 23rd 2017.  It has taken an age, to receive the ringing details for this bird.  A couple of weeks ago, I sent an email to the BTO, enquiring about my sighting, in case the sighting had been overlooked.  Apparently, the BTO, had to contact the Belfast & Down Ringing Group, asking for the ringing information.

Strangely enough, I had never heard of the group, but it has been in existence for quite some time.  I Googled the group's name and discovered that they were on Facebook.

 EW48510 , was ringed as an un-sexed adult, on the 14th August 2017, at the Castle Espie Wetland Centre, in County Down.  Millisle, lies 14 kms / 8 miles (ENE), from Castle Espie and my sighting was made 4 months and 9 days, after the gull had been ringed.

Whooper Swan  -    E6J 
I spotted this 'colour-ringed' Whooper Swan, at the Myroe Levels, on the 4th February 2018.  Although it was almost half a mile away from me, when I took photos of it, the 'Yellow Darvic', appeared to read -  E6J  or  E63 .  I reported my sighting to Kane Brides of the Wildlife and Wetland Trust (WWT), not really expecting to have my sighting accepted.  My thinking, was that Kane, would know all of the codes used, which may identify the swan for certain.

I had given this one up, as I heard nothing back from Kane.  It came as a surprise a couple of days ago, when Kane replied, giving his apologies for my wait.  My Whooper Swan, was indeed, colour-ringed   E6J .

 E6J , was rung as an adult female, on the 10th February 2010, at the WWT's Martin Mere Reserve, in Lancashire, England.  Re-sighted there during the winter of 2011, it's first appearance on the Myroe Levels, occurred on the 13th January 2012, before returning to Martin Mere, on the 29th November 2012.

The last sighting of  E6J , until I spotted it, was again on the Myroe Levels, on the 21st November 2013, a gap of just over 4 years.  So far,  E6J , has not been recorded anywhere else, though presumably it breeds in Iceland.  The distance between Martin Mere and the Myroe Levels, is 319 kms / 195 miles (NW).

My thanks to Kane, for supplying the swans ringing details.   E6J , is now my second 'ringed' Whooper Swan sighting.

Common Gull  -   2VDT 
On the 18th February 2018, I spotted a Common Gull, with an 'Orange Darvic' on the beach at Kinnegar, in County Down.  Having successfully captured the code on it's ring -  2VDT , I was presuming that it was the same bird, that I recorded on this same beach on the 12th February 2017.

On returning home and checking my spreadsheet,  2VDT , was in fact a new sighting.  The Common Gull, that I had recorded in the previous February, was in fact -  2H70 .  I reported  2VDT , to Calum Campbell, who is the ringing secretary of the Grampian Ringing Group in Scotland.

Calum replied, to say that  2VDT , was rung on the Ythan Estuary, in Aberdeenshire, on the 26th August 2017.  It is almost six months since  2VDT , was ringed and the distance from Ythan to Kinnegar, is 382 kms / 237 miles (SW).  My Thanks to Calum, for the ringing information.

Common Gull  -    2J52 
I had to sent another email to Calum, after I spotted another two of his Common Gulls, on the same beach at Kinnegar last weekend (4th March 2017).  One of these, was a re-sighting of  2A06 , which can be read about below.

The other gull, was a juvenile / 1st winter bird (read below), rung  2J52 .  I had just published this post, barring the 'Ringing Details' section, when I received a reply from Calum.    2J52 , was ringed as a chick, on the 1st July 2017, at Tillypronie, in Aberdeenshire.  My sighting, is the first report of this young bird, having travelled 334 kms / 207 miles (SW).  Again, my thanks to Calum.

Black-headed Gull  -  (White) 5HA
On the 26th February, I received an email from Ian Enlander.  Whilst at Whitehead, on the east coast of County Antrim, he re-sighted the Danish Black-headed Gull - (White) 5HA.  Ringed in March 2015, at Gentoffe, this is the second year running, that 5HA, has wintered at Whitehead.  I recorded it's return, on the 14th November 2017 and Ian's latest sighting is the 6th record I have placed onto my spreadsheet this winter.

The previous winter, 5HA, was recorded at Whitehead, from the 26th November 2016, until the 26th February 2017.  I had intended to go to Whitehead, later the same week, as Ian's sighting, but due to the forecast of heavy snow, I thought it wiser to stay at home.  My thanks to Ian, for the update.

From Suzanne Belshaw
Suzanne Belshaw, has contacted me, about a couple of 'colour-ringed' Oystercatchers, that she spotted on the Dargan Mudflats in Belfast, on the 2nd March 2018.

The first of these, is no stranger to the Dargan Mudflats.   T64 , was ringed as an un-sexed adult, on the 29th March 2014, at the Ballater Sewage Works, in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.  The initial sighting of   T64 , at Dargan, was made by Adam McClure, on the 19th October 2015 and was the first record of the bird, outside of Scotland.

Exactly, one year later, on the 19th October 2016, I spotted  T64 , back for the second winter running.  With Suzanne's latest sighting, it has now been recorded for a third winter, on the Dargan Mudflats.  Suzanne's record, couldn't have come at a better time, as the Oystercatchers at Dargan, will soon be departing to their respective breeding sites.

According to Harry Scott, who is the ringing co-ordinator, for the Oystercatchers rung around Ballater, there had been no further sightings of this bird back  in Scotland, over the last couple of years.  The distance from Ballater to Dargan, is 323 kms / 201 miles (SW).  My thanks to Suzanne and Harry, for the sighting and comments.  

Oystercatcher  -    T64   -  Dargan Mudflats, Belfast  (02 Mar 2018)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Adult, on the 29th March 2014, at Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland)
(Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw)

The second of Suzanne's two Oystercatcher sightings, was the first recorded sighting of an Icelandic rung bird - (O)range/(R)ed-(W)hite(NC).  OR-W(NC), was ringed as a breeding adult, last summer, on the 19th May 2017.  An ongoing project, by the Icelandic Wader team, catches adults, returning to 'dummy' eggs, placed into their nests.  After being ringed, the birds are then released and return to their real eggs.

This project, has only been running for a couple of years, but sightings of the Icelandic colour-ringed Oystercatchers, both in Northern Ireland and the Republic, are increasing, as more and more birds are ringed.

The current use, of a 'Darvic', that is coded, replaced the old system, where a combination of 'colour-rings' and a 'colour-flag', was used.  It was discovered, that several of the Oystercatchers, somehow managed to discard the 'flags', which meant several birds, could not be read, as individuals.

Personally, I prefer the new system and would enjoy it even more, if I could 'nail' that Oystercatcher at Kinnegar Beach.  Perhaps, one of my readers, would like to have a go at reading the code on that one.  If 'cracked', please do let me know.

My thanks to Suzanne, for sharing her sightings and supplying the photos.

Oystercatcher  -  OR-W(NC)  -  Dargan Mudflats, Belfast  (02 Mar 2018)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Breeding Adult, on the 19th May 2017, on the Garður Peninsular, SW Iceland)
(Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw)


      Saturday 3rd March 2018       
It was getting quite late this afternoon, before I could venture out, so I decided to cover the east Antrim Coast, starting at Carnlough and moving southwards to Larne.

Arriving at Carnlough Beach, the tide was well on it's way out, but for a change, there were good numbers of gulls feeding on the edge of the surf.  Probably, in excess of 200 birds, they were mostly made up of Black-headed and a surprisingly high number of Common Gulls.

Taking an age and braving a bitterly cold east wind, I patiently scoped through the gulls, but not a single ring was spotted.  Moving on to the southern edge of the beach, I made my 4th re-sighting this winter of the Icelandic Oystercatcher - Orange/Orange-White(AA).  Here for a second winter running, it had returned on 7th October 2017.

The previous winter, I recorded OO-W(AA), on seven occasions, between the 10th August 2016 and the 24th February 2017.  Although, this is the first March sighting of this bird, it will probably be on it's way back to Iceland, by the time of my next visit here.

Oystercatcher  -  (O)range/(O)range - White (AA)  -  Carnlough Beach, Co. Antrim  (03 Mar 2018)
(Ringed as a Breeding Adult, on the 10th May 2016, at Brautarholt, Kjalarnes, Iceland)

Moving on towards Larne, I stopped by a Raven nest-site, situated just south of Glenarm, on the coast road.  Last year, I discovered the Ravens nesting on these cliffs, where there had been no previous records.  What's really interesting about this site, is that people regularly walk on the footpath below the cliff and the Ravens and the folk out walking, seem to be oblivious of each other.

It did not take long, to find this years nest, which has been built in the exact same spot as last year.  Scoping the nest from my car, I could see an adult moving from time to time, through a gap in the sticks.  Last year, this pair fledged four youngsters. 

Raven Nest-site (Nest Inset) at McAauley's Head, Glenarm, Co. Antrim  (03 Mar 2018)

Checking small numbers of gulls for rings, as I moved on towards Larne, proved fruitless.  By the time, that I reached Sandy Bay, in Larne, the tide was now fully out and very few gulls or waders were present.

A small number of Black-headed Gulls and a few Herring Gulls, were on the grass at the far end of the Bay.  Throwing out bread, I soon attracted these birds onto the road beside me.  Among them, was a BHG, with an 'Orange Darvic'.  One of Adam's Study birds, it turned out to be  2ABT .  I instantly recognised the code, but knew, I had never recorded this gull here previously and could not place my previous sightings.

On returning home and checking my spreadsheet, I had recorded   2ABT , on the 17th October and 23rd December 2017, at Ballyholme, in County Down.  It has a reasonably good re-sighting history and though  2ABT , winters at Ballyholme, in past years, it has been recorded at Sandy Bay, prior to the start of the breeding season.  It is believed, that  2ABT , breeds on Blue Circle Island, situated nearby in Larne Lough.

Black-headed Gull  -    2ABT   -  Sandy Bay, Larne, Co. Antrim  (03 Mar 2018)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Adult, on the 24th January 2013, at Ballyholme, Co. Down)


      Sunday 4th March 2018       
With high tide due in the early afternoon, I delayed my departure from home, to take advantage of observing gulls, on the rooftop of Belfast's Waste Transfer Station.  I'm still hoping to re-sight a Norwegian Black-headed Gull, ringed (White) J5P9.  I then planned to visit the beach at Kinnegar, before moving on down to Millisle.

I left home, to begin my journey to Belfast.  As I was driving past my local park, I glanced across to the park's pavilion, where I have been expecting to see the return of a 'metal-rung' Lesser Black-backed Gull, from Scotland.

I couldn't believe my eyes, when I spotted a pair of Lesser Black-backeds, perched on the roof.  I made a quick 'U-turn' and headed back towards the park.

Grabbing my camera, a few photos later, I had recorded   GC27*** , on the ring of the female.  The pair of gulls, took off from the roof and landed onto the park's lake.

I have no doubt, that this is  GC27112 , but I'll return to the park later this week, to confirm the whole ring number.  This is now the fourth year running that I have recorded this Scottish-rung gull here.  Normally, spotted during March,  GC27112 , arrived back on the 17th February, last spring.

Despite, extensive checks in the past, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, have never nested in Ballymena.  I have come to the conclusion, that  GC27112 , visits the Peoples Park in Ballymena, before moving on towards it's breeding site.  The nearest site that I know of, is the large rooftop colony at the Tesco Warehouse, at Kilbegs, in Antrim Town.  This site is around 10 miles away, to the south of Ballymena.

Ringed, as a chick, on the 1st July 2006, the duration is now 11 years, 8 months and 3 days, having been ringed at Horse Island Nature Reserve, in Ayrshire, Scotland.  Seeing as Lesser Black-backeds, are long-lived birds, I should record  GC27112 , for many years to come.   

Lesser Black-backed Gull  -    GC27112   -  The Peoples Park, Ballymena, Co. Antrim  (04 Mar 2018)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 1st July 2006, at Horse Island NR, Ayrshire, Scotland)

Moving on and arriving at Dargan, I was disappointed to discover and total lack of gulls.  Checking on the few birds present, no rings were spotted, so I drove on to the beach at Kinnegar.

With the high tide, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fairly large number of gulls and waders resting within easy scoping range.  The first ring spotted was on a Bar-tailed Godwit.  Standing on one leg, I could see White over Blue, but I badly needed to see the other leg, in case it was ringed on both legs.  The group of Godwits, numbering 50 to 60 birds, flew off for some reason, but luckily returned again.

I re-located my 'colour-ringed' bird and this time, I could see both legs.  I quickly zoomed in and took a few photos.  It's right leg, was rung - Yellow/Red/Yellow, and later on, I discovered that the red ring, was probably the remains of a 'Red Flag'.

I sent a photo, to Richard du Feu, of the BTO, who confirmed the Godwit, had most likely been ringed in Holland.  He copied in the project organiser, Job, in his reply, so I'm now waiting on the ringing details.  This is my first sighting of a 'colour-ringed' Black-tailed Godwit, so I was well pleased to get this one.

Bar-tailed Godwit  -  (W)hite/(B)lue - (Y)ellow/(R)ed flag/(Y)ellow  -  Kinnegar Beach, Co. Down  (04 Mar 2018)
(Waiting on Ringing Details)

Scoping through 200+ Oystercatchers, I could see a bird that I have spotted here previously.  Ringed Orange over Orange, White(??), I'm still trying to read the two letter code on the White Darvic.  Although, the Oystercatcher, was reasonably close to me, a second bird was obscuring the White ring.  As usual, horror of horrors, a dog walker arrived and sent the birds flying.  After this, I could not find my Oystercatcher again.

After the dog walker had moved on, the gulls and waders, started to return.  I then spotted a juvenile / 1st winter Common gull in the distance, with an 'Orange Darvic'.  Zooming in, with my camera, I just barely caught the code -  2J52 .  I knew straight away, from the code, that this was a Scottish bird, which has likely been ringed somewhere in Aberdeenshire.  I have reported  2J52 , to Calum Campbell and now await it's ringing details.

Common Gull  (Juvenile)  -    2J52   -  Kinnegar Beach, Holywood, Co. Down  (04 Mar 2018)
(Waiting on Ringing Details)

As the tide started to recede, the gulls of various species, started to arrive in their hundreds, along with good numbers of waders, of varying species.  In the end, I postponed, my visit to Millisle, to concentrate on the gulls, whose total numbers, easily exceeded the 1,000 mark.  I wondered, if the adverse weather conditions, across the Irish Sea, had any bearing on the number of birds at Kinnegar, which was vastly superior to anything that I've seen here before.

Much of Scotland and England, has recently been hit by heavy snowfalls, which may have resulted in these larger numbers, also experienced at Carnlough Beach, the day before.

With so many birds present, I knew that there had to be other 'colour-ringed' birds to be found.  Next, to be spotted, was a Black-headed Gull, with a 'Green Darvic'.  Another, just in range of my camera, I just about caught the code -  J22Z .  I knew, with the start letter 'J', that this bird was Norwegian.

Returning home later, I entered it's number, onto the 'Live' Norwegian Database and soon had it's ringing and re-sighting history.   J22Z , was ringed as an adult, on the 4th May 2016, but this was it's first sighting outside of Norway, where it has been recorded on numerous occasions in the Stavanger area.

 J22Z , is the fourth new 'colour-ringed', Black-headed Gull, from Norway, that I've recorded this winter.  The others, were at, Connswater Shopping Centre and Dargan (both Belfast) and at Carrickfergus.

Black-headed Gull  -    J22Z   -  Kinnegar Beach, Holywood, Co. Down  (04 Mar 2018)
(Ringed as an Adult, on the 4th May 2016, at Mosvatnet, Stavanger, Norway.

Prior to spotting  J22Z , a group of 8 Brent Geese, were on the sea and they eventually came ashore.  Two of these birds, were 'colour-ringed', but were a long distance away from me.  I've added the photo below, which gives some perspective on the distance involved.  The Brents, are the larger of the birds, to the right of the last wooden pillar.  Incidentally, the Black-headed Gull,  J22Z , was photographed between the 2nd and 3rd pillars out.

A Section of Kinnegar Beach, Where the Brent Geese were Foraging on the Distant Shoreline

Sitting in my car, I zoomed out with my camera and captured the codes on both Brent Geese.  With a coded ring on each leg, the first bird read (R)ed H, (R)ed H, and the second bird read (R)ed H, (R)ed J.  I reported both birds, as a pair, to Graham McElwaine, from the Irish Brent Goose Research Group.

Graham replied, sending the ringing and re-sighting histories for both birds, which were indeed paired together.  Having been ringed in 2013 and 2014, their re-sighting histories are too extensive to list here, but this winter they were spotted together at Faughanvale, Lough Foyle, near Londonderry, on the 9th October 2017 and at Portmarnock, in County Dublin, on the 19th December 2017.  Since being ringed, neither bird has yet to be recorded outside of the Irish Mainland.

Brent Goose  -  (R)ed H - (R)ed H  -  Kinnegar Beach, Holywood, Co. Down  (04 Mar 2018)
(Ringed as an Adult Female, on the 26th February 2014, at Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, R. of Ireland)

Brent Goose  -  (R)ed H - (R)ed J  -  Kinnegar Beach, Holywood, Co. Down  (04 Mar 2018)
(Ringed on the 22nd November 2013, at Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, Republic of Ireland)

The final 'colour-ring', to be spotted, was on an adult Common Gull, which bore an 'Orange Darvic'.  At first, I thought that this was going to be another re-sighting of a bird recently recorded here -  2VDT , or perhaps  2H70 , recorded last winter.  In fact, it turned out to be  2A06 , a bird recorded by Cameron Moore, Paul McCullough and myself at Carrickfergus, situated on the other side of Belfast Lough.

Ringed as a probable breeding adult, in Scotland, it has been recorded at Carrickfergus on the 12th December 2015, 19th February 2016 and the 9th December 2017.  On the 17th September,  2A06 , was spotted at Prestwick, in Ayrshire, Scotland, presumably on it's way back to Northern Ireland.

Common Gull  -    2A06   -  Kinnegar Beach, Holywood, Co. Down  (04 Mar 2018)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Adult, on the 2nd July 2015, at Westhill, Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

This turned out to be an excellent visit to Kinnegar Beach and I have no doubt, that there had to be a few more 'colour-ringed' birds about.  With a fairly extensive beach, only a fraction of the gulls and waders were scoped.  Eventually, all were too far out, to even try for more rings.  Anyhow, with a heavily clouded sky, and it now being late in the afternoon, the available light was beginning to fade.


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