Tuesday, 11 September 2018

From Suzanne Belshaw

      From Suzanne Belshaw       
Suzanne has contacted me, concerning ringed gulls, which she has spotted.  I had intended to post this article on an earlier date, but my photo editor, went offline, and I could not work with Suzanne's pictures.  When it did come back online, I needed to work on my latest sightings first.

My thanks, goes to Suzanne, for sharing her sightings.  I've listed these in alphabetical order of species, which saves the best to last.

A fellow birdwatcher, Jim Wells, sent me a text message, stating that he had spotted two 'colour-ringed' Black-headed Gulls, at Belvoir Park, in Belfast.  One had a 'Green Darvic', and the second gull, bore a 'White Darvic'.  Unfortunately, Jim, did not have his telescope to hand, and was unable to read the codes, suffice to say, he thought the green ringed birds code, may have the letter 'J'.  I replied, and stated, that both of his gull sightings, were probably from Norway.

Having received an email from Suzanne Belshaw, on one of her sightings, I suggested, that she might like to investigate Jim's report, as she lived closer to Belvoir Park, than I did.  Suzanne obliged, and called into Belvoir Park.

Here, she found one of the two gulls -   JEX9 .  Initially spotted on the grass, it then flew onto a lamppost, where Suzanne, was able to read the ring, and take a few photos.

  JEX9 , was ringed as an adult, on the 29th March 2018, in the city of Stavanger, in Norway.  Suzanne's sighting, was the first record of the gull outside of Norway, having flown 861 kms/ 535 miles (SW), to reach Belvoir Park.

Black-headed Gull  -  Norway    JEX9   -  Belvoir Park, Belfast  (20 Aug 2018)
(Ringed on the 29th March 2018, at Stavanger, Norway)

Black-headed Gull  -    2ABH , is from Adam McClure's, Northern Ireland Study.  Ringed as an adult male, on the 21st January 2013, all of it's re-sightings, have been at Sandy Bay, in Larne, where it had been ringed.  As with many of the gulls from Adam's Study, the breeding site is unknown, but each sighting adds to the bird's longevity record.

Black-headed Gull  -    2ABH   -  Sandy Bay, Larne, Co. Antrim  (27 Aug 2018)
(Ringed as an Adult Male, on the 21st January 2013, at Sandy Bay)

Suzanne's sighting of Common Gull -   2AIP , is the first record of the gull, by anyone other than myself.  Ringed as a chick, by Shane Wolsey, Shane gave up his Common Gull project on the Copeland Islands, in 2014.  Started in 2009, Shane, passed on the colour-ringing data to me in April 2017.

  2AIP , has yet to be recorded away from the Whiteabbey shore, with all sightings being reported between the months of August to February.  Ringed as a chick, on the Copeland Islands, in June 2012, it's first re-sighting, was made in October 2015.  Unbeknown to Suzanne, I was also at Whiteabbey beach, earlier on the 26th August, and also spotted   2AIP .

Common Gull  -    2AIP   -  Whiteabbey Shoreline, Co. Antrim  (26 Aug 2018)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 11th June 2012, on Big Copeland Island, Co. Down)

Another Common Gull, I was glad to hear about, was   EJ72587 .  After I first took up the hobby of 'Ring Reading',   EJ72587 , was at one time, the oldest BTO rung Common Gull, that I had recorded.  This was on the 4th September 2016, at Groomsport Harbour, in County Down, and at the time, was the gulls first re-sighting, since being ringed.

Ringed, on the nearby Copeland Islands, on the 22nd July 2003, Suzanne, took enough photos, to piece the ring number together, but forgot to take a photo of the actual bird itself.  Suzanne, came across   EJ72587 , on the 15th August 2018, also at Groomsport.  The duration, since ringing, is now 15 years and 24 days.

Common Gull  -    EJ72587   -  Groomsport Harbour, Co. Down  (15 Aug 2018)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 22nd July 2003, on The Copeland Islands, Co. Down)

Whilst at Groomsport, a juvenile Herring Gull, caught Suzanne's attention.  She had no trouble, taking photos of it's 'metal-ring', capturing -   GR97045 .  Suzanne, has reported the gull to the British Trust for Ornithology, and waits on it's ringing details.  We suspect though, that it would have been ringed this summer, on the nearby Copeland Islands.

Herring Gull (Juvenile)  -    GR97045   -  Groomsport Harbour, Co. Down  (15 Aug 2018)
(Waiting on the Ringing Details)

On the 1st September 2018, Suzanne, recorded a 'colour-ringed' Herring Gull, at Islandhill, Comber, in County Down.  On hearing of Suzanne's sighting, I called by Islandhill, the next day, after my visit to Castle Espie, and also recorded   0P:W .

  0P:W , is from a fairly new Study, being carried out on the Copeland Islands, just off the County Down coast.  This Herring Gull, is no stranger to me, as I first spotted it at, Whitehouse Lagoon, Belfast, on the 7th February 2016.  Other known sightings of   0P:W , were made on the 25th October 2015 (Knockinelder Bay, Strangford Lough, Co. Down (Graham McElwaine)), and on the 19th January 2017 (Islandhill, Comber, Co. Down (Ross McIlrath)).

Herring Gull  -    0P:W   -  Islandhill, Comber, Co. Down  (01 Sep 2018)
(Ringed as an Un-Sexed Adult, on the 23rd May 2014, on Big Copeland Island, Co. Down)

As stated at the start of this post, the best is saved to last.  On the 19th August, while at the Whiteabbey shore, Suzanne, had the good fortune of spotting a young Mediterranean Gull from Poland.  Seeing the 'Red Darvic', Suzanne, just about managed to capture the code on a few photos -   PKN1 .

Earlier in August, I reported on a spate, of young 'colour-ringed' Mediterranean Gulls, which had arrived into Northern Ireland, from the European Continent (Read Here - Mini Med Invasion...).  Three birds came from Germany, one from Holland and one from Poland.

  PKN1 , was ringed as a chick, on the 28th May 2018, at Januszkowice, in the Province of Opolskie, in south-west Poland.  The distance to Whiteabbey, is 1,684 kms / 1,046 miles (WNW).  The duration since ringing, was, 2 months and 22 days.

With six 'colour-ringed' European juveniles, having been recorded so far, there could be a good posibility, one or two more may be spotted over the next few months.  Winter has yet to arrive and once it does, birds may be pushed towards us.

Mediterranean Gull  -  Poland    PKN1   -  Whiteabbey Shoreline, Co. Antrim  (19 Aug 2018)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 28th May 2018, at Januszkowice, Opolskie, SW Poland)


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