Friday, 4 October 2019

Metal Saviour...

There's plenty to read about this week, with one of the highlights for me, was in identifying a colour-ringed gull by it's metal ring, whereas normally it should be the other way round.  Feeling as sick as a pig over the weekend, I still had to get out, in order to record material for this week's post, and I ended up postponing my weekly visit to Antrim Marina.

On the recovery side of things, I've had good and bad news.  The plain colour rings on both Sandwich and Common Terns, continue to be a problem.  These seem to come from older projects, when proper registration was less formal, than it is now.  Modern times have seen the use of coded darvic rings, with such schemes having to be registered.  The good news, was finally receiving the ringing info for a Redshank and a Mediterranean Gull.
_____________________________________

      Antrim Marina - Monday 9th September 2019       
It had to happen someday - I cancelled my weekly visit to Antrim Marina.  Having begun to feel unwell on Saturday evening, my long outing on Sunday became a long slog, having gone ahead with my plans to visit sites along the western side of Strangford Lough.  By the time that I went to bed on Sunday evening, I was shattered, and even at that point I was not looking forwards to Monday.

When I got up at 06:45, on Monday morning, I was still very much feeling 'out of sorts'.  Having taken my wife to work at 07:30, I was supposed to head on up to Antrim Marina for my weekly visit.  Although by then I was feeling slightly better, I just could not face another long day and returned home.  As preparation for work, starting at 6pm, I went back to my bed until 1 o'clock in the afternoon.

Reflecting on my missed visit to the Marina, in a way I was glad, as being quite a nice day, I would have probably had another disappointing visit, and the extra rest did make me feel a whole lot better.  My miserable weekend, was further compounded at work, as just before our tea break at 10pm, I turned straight into a piece of machinery.  Having hit it with an almighty smack, on the left side of my forehead, some of my fellow workers were concerned.

A golf ball sided lump, appeared immediately, and about five minutes later, the blood began to flow.  Some light repairs from a first-aider, and I was good to go again.  Funny enough, I went through the remainder of my shift with no ill effects, no dizziness or headaches.  2am, saw the end of my shift, and a miserable weekend as a whole, but by then I began to feel like my normal self again.  It is now Tuesday morning, and I've now started on this week's post.  I did contemplate the idea of going to Antrim today, but it'll do no harm to give it a by-ball for a week.

******************************

      Ringing Details Received       
In my previous post, I reported on the developments regarding a colour-ringed Common Tern, spotted by Ian Enlander at Whitehead, in August of 2019.  Having received info about this bird, which narrowed it down to one of fifteen individuals, things have turned for the worse.

The BTO, having 'sat' with Ian's sighting since August, had made contact with me to state the bird would have been ringed as a chick in June 2004, at the Little Marlow Gravel Pit in Buckinghamshire, England.

With now having some info to work with, I took 'the bit between my teeth', to try and follow up on this.  I looked up the Buckinghamshire County Bird Recorder, a certain Michael Warren, asking if he would know who had ringed the Common Tern, or any info regarding the bird.

Michael replied, copying in a Michael Collard.  Mike Collard, eventually replied, and initially thought that this may well have been one of their birds.  He had to wait on a colleague returning from a vacation, for his opinion.  As it turns out, their Common Terns were ringed with a single colour-ring, and not two, as with the case of Ian's sighting, so the tern did not belong to them

This now leaves us back to where we started, and have no idea from where this tern came from.  I informed Sabine at the BTO, to let her know of the latest developments, which places the bird back onto the 'Queried List'.  With nothing more to go on, I have uploaded a photo onto 'Twitter', in the hope that someone will eventually identify this elusive bird.  For now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
_________________________________

On a more positive note, I have recently received a couple of emails from Sean Kingston, regarding the colour-ringed Mediterranean Gull -   2XT6 , which I spotted at Millisle in County Down, on the 14th September 2019.  Having looked up   2XT6 , on the cr-birding website, these rings were registered to Sean, with the rings being used to ring Mediterranean Gulls at Sandy Cove, in the Republic of Ireland.

As it turns out,   2XT6 , was actually ringed as a chick in Northern Ireland.  Adam McClure, had requested a small number of Sean's colour-rings, just in case he came upon Med Gull chicks, whilst ringing Black-headed Gull chicks, at Blue Circle Island, on Larne Lough, Co. Antrim.    2XT6 , was indeed ringed on the island, on the 16th June 2017, as a chick.

My sighting on the 14th September, was a first, the duration being 2 years, 2 months and 29 days.  The distance from Blue Circle Island to Millisle, is roughly 29 kms / 18 miles (SE).  The movement is fairly short, but I'd bet this bird has clocked up more mileage that.  Another good result, which is pleasing.  My thanks to Sean, for supplying this info.
__________________________________

Over the last couple of weeks, I had been waiting on a reply from Tony Cross in Wales, concerning the sighting of my first ever colour-ringed Redshank (blog).  Not unduly worried about receiving a reply, I know Tony usually gets there eventually.  Just by chance, I checked my 'Yahoo Spam Box', on Wednesday morning (2nd October), to discover that Tony had replied on the 18th September.  I find yahoo, extremely effective in re-directing rubbish emails, but of course, Tony's email was not spam.

My Redshank, ringed Black FV, on the Right Tibia, with a plain Orange Ring on the Left Tibia, was ringed as a second calendar year bird, on the 7th March 2019, at Ynylas National Nature Reserve, in Wales.  My sighting of O-FV, was a first, six months and one day since being ringed.  The distance, was 264 kms / 164 miles (WNW).  Tony made no mention, whether this bird belonged to a particular project, or was just ringed generally, but my thanks goes to Tony for the information.

******************************

      From Jan Rod       
On Sunday evening (29th September), I received an email from Jan Rod.  Just a short time earlier, Jan had been out and about, and spotted one of my Common Gulls, on Shenick Island, which belongs to the Skerries Islands, just of the coast in County Dublin.

On checking my spreadsheet for   2BIA , I was mortified, as the bird had not been entered.  I knew that I was the only one to use the Blue   2B**   series of rings, so had to go out to my car to retrieve my ringing notebook.  I soon found the entry, and   2BIA , was in fact the last Common Gull chick to be ringed during the summer of 2018.

However, it was not one of my Rathlin Island birds, but was ringed on the 19th July 2018, between Waterfoot and Cushendall, at Red Bay in County Antrim.  Not only had I forgot to enter the ringing details of   2BIA , onto my spreadsheet, I had also forgotten to enter the ringing of a nearby Black Guillemot chick as well.

Jan's sighting of   2BIA , is the first record of it since being ringed, the duration now being 1 year, 2 months and 10 days.  The distance from Red Bay to Shenick Island, is about 166 kms / 103 miles (S).  Should   2BIA , survive this winter, I reckon it will return to County Antrim next summer to prospect a nesting site for 2021, by which time it will have reached full breeding age.  It will be interesting to see, if the bird returns to Red Bay, or will venture a little further north to the sub-colonies on Rathlin Island.

Having already survived it's first winter, the chances of it's continued survival are good.  My thanks goes to Jan for his sighting, and the photo taken via his mobile phone - another much appreciated report.

Common Gull  -    2BIA   -  Shenick Island, The Skerries Islands, Co. Dublin, Republic of Ireland (29 Sep 2019)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 19th July 2018, at Red Bay, Co. Antrim)
(Photo Courtesy of Jan Rod)

******************************

      From Suzanne Belshaw       
Suzanne Belshaw visited Kinnegar Beach on Saturday 28th September and spotted two birds with colour-rings.  One of these, is now the second sighting this winter of an Icelandic rung Oystercatcher - W(NC)-RR.  Suzanne had checked my blog for this bird but could not find any reference of it.  It was no wonder, as this bird has been ringed with the colour marks on the wrong legs.  Normally the coded ring would be fitted onto the birds right tarsus, the two plain coloured rings being fitted onto the left tarsus, which would therefore mean the sequence reading as RR-W(NC).

I recorded the return of this Oystercatcher, here at Kinnegar, on the 24th August 2019.  Having been ringed as a breeding adult in 2017, this is now the second winter that W(NC)-RR, has appeared at Kinnegar.  It's ringing and re-sighting history can be read (here).

I must confess to ringing the odd Common Gull chick, with the coded ring and metal ring, being placed onto the wrong legs.  In the UK, the metal is normally fitted onto the right tarsus, and the coded ring onto the left.  I kneel whilst ringing the chicks, with their heads in between my legs.  Therefore, their left leg is on my right side, and being right handed, have made the mistake of placing the metal on the wrong leg.  I suppose we all lack a bit of concentration at times.

Oystercatcher -  White(NC)-RR  -  Kinnegar Beach, Belfast Lough, Co. Down  (28 Sep 2019)
(Ringed as a Breeding Adult, on the 22nd May 2017, at þóroddsstaðir, SW. Iceland)
(Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw)

Suzanne's second bird was a Sandwich Tern, with a single plain 'Red' Ring.  These have presented us with a slight problem, as their origins cannot be traced by the BTO.  On the 22nd September 2018, I came across a Sandwich Tern, at Sandy Bay in Larne, which a single plain 'Lime' or 'Green' ring.  In September 2017, Cameron Moore had a Sandwich Tern with two plain colour rings - 'Lime over Red', at Whitehead, and Richard Donaghey also recorded a Sandwich Tern with two plain colour rings (Red over Blue), in August 2018, on the Bann Estuary at Castlerock.

I sent an email about Suzanne's sighting to Ewan Weston in Aberdeenshire, but as yet we have not received a reply.  What I do know, is that the terns spotted by Cameron and Richard, belong to a former project belonging to an Alister Smith who has long since retired.

Alister would have ringed as many as 300 Sandwich Tern chicks on the Ythan Estuary Nature Reserve in Aberdeenshire.  All of the chicks in a particular year, were ringed with the same combination of colour rings, which donates the year of ringing, and not each bird as an individual.  In the case of Cameron's bird, it was ringed in 2008, and Richard's bird was ringed in 2010.

Whether these single colour ringed Sandwich Terns belong to Alister Smith, or, are from another such project is unknown.  Should any of my readers, particular those in Aberdeenshire, can shed any light please do let me know.  Surely there has to be notebooks, or similar documentation somewhere.

As for now, Suzanne will be left in 'the dark' over her sighting, as I am over mine.

Sandwich Tern with a Plain Red Colour-Ring at Kinnegar Beach  (28 Sep 2019)
(Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw)

******************************

      Saturday 28th September 2019       
Today, I decided to start at Glynn Railway Station, and slowly make my way south to the mudflats, beside the Dargan Industrial Estate in Belfast.  With the tide due to recede, I arrived at the Glynn around 1:10 in the early afternoon.

Walking onto the station's platform, a lady was sitting and appeared to be doing a bit of 'digi-scoping'.  I later learnt that her name was Sandra, and during our conversation, she had only took up the hobby of birdwatching in May of this year.  What led Sandra to taking up the hobby, was similar to how I began at the age of seven.  Sandra, had began taking an interest in the birds attracted to a feeder, and became fascinated at the various species, and how they were marked and their colours.

It appears that Sandra has made great progress since May, and like all of us, are still learning all the time.  Asking if she had seen a Greenshank yet, a negative reply was made, but I assured her, one or two should show up as the tide goes out, and four birds obliged with their presence.

Sandra was fascinated to learn the I specialised in reading rings, and I explained my side of this hobby - even going back to my car to collect some of my own colour-rings.  I began scoping the increasing number of gulls and waders which were by now arriving as the tide went out.  Eventually, one colour-ringed juvenile Common Gull was spotted, which I instantly knew was one of my birds ringed as a chick this summer.

My camera as usual, made short work of the distance, and I easily captured the code -   2BKX , which was the first sighting out of all the Common Gull chicks which I ringed during this summer.  I of course showed the photo to Sandra, and said it would be in this Friday's post, on my blog which I informed her of.  Sandra, should you read this, here's a big hello from me, and please do continue with the birdwatching.

  2BKX , was ringed as a chick, on the 24th June 2019, at Arkill Bay on Rathlin Island, situated just off the north coast of Northern Ireland.  As stated, this is the first sighting of any of my chicks from this summer, having travelled 56 kms / 34 miles (SSE), the duration since ringing, being 3 months and 4 days.

Common Gull  -    2BKX   -  Glynn Shoreline, Larne Lough, Co. Antrim  (28 Sep 2019)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 24th June 2019, at Arkill Bay, Rathlin Island, Co. Antrim)

No other ringed birds were spotted throughout the remainder of the afternoon, having visited Whitehead, Carrickfergus, Whiteabbey, Whitehouse Lagoon and the mudflats at Dargan.

******************************

      Sunday 29th September 2019       
Last Sunday, I had planned to cover sites on the west shore of Strangford Lough in County Down, but ended up staying at Kinnegar Beach for just about the whole afternoon.  Today, I was determined to undertake my proposed agenda of last Sunday.

Making an early start, I knew the tide was incoming, so, as I reached Belfast, I decided to make quick stops at Whitehouse Lagoon and Kinnegar Beach.

Whitehouse Lagoon, was about half full when I arrived, the sea water was pouring in through the concrete pipes which run under the motorway adjacent to Belfast Lough.  A good number of gulls and waders were present, with Black-tailed Godwit and Knot numbers catching the eye.  Bar-tailed Godwits, do not usually appear here in numbers, but a good couple of them were also present.

Having scoped through the birds constantly for a good half hour or more, just one distant colour-ringed Black-headed Gull was spotted.  Not sure, whether my camera would catch the code, I just about managed to capture -   2AFP , which belongs to Adam McClure's former Northern Ireland Project.

After consulting my spreadsheet on Sunday evening, today's was my third sighting of   2AFP .  The last time this bird had been recorded, was nearly two years ago (17th Oct 2017), when I spotted   2AFP   on Kinnegar Beach, on the opposite side of Belfast Lough, from the Lagoon.  Aside from these two sightings,   2AFP , was first recorded at Antrim Marina, in County Antrim by Neville McKee, on the 21st May 2015, followed by a sighting by Robin Vage, on the 11th September 2016, at Kinnegar Beach, and then my first ever sighting, made on the 27th August 2017, at Whitehouse Lagoon.

  2AFP , was ringed as a chick, on the 19th June 2013, on Mew Island, which belongs to the Copeland Islands, just off the north coast of County Down.  The distance from Mew to Whitehouse Lagoon, is 26 kms / 16 miles (WSW), the duration now 6 years, 3 months and 10 days.  This was indeed a nice record, for a gull which had not been seen for a while.

Black-headed Gull  -    2AFP   -  Whitehouse Lagoon, Belfast Lough, Co. Antrim  (29 Sep 2019)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 19th June 2013, on Mew Island, The Copeland Islands, Co. Down)

Moving on to Kinnegar Beach, very little of the shore remained, as it was nearing high tide.  Just a handful of Black-headed Gulls were present, but between 20 to 30 Sandwich Terns were flying close by, with some attempting to land on several occasions.  I felt that if I had arrived perhaps 10 or 15 minutes earlier, this flock may well have been on the beach.

One Sandwich Tern did eventually land, albeit for less than a minute.  As luck would have it, this bird was colour-ringed -  KNV  .  I immediately wondered if this bird belonged to Mark Collier, as I recorded a similar code here last Sunday -   KLB .  It had been Ewan Weston, who suggested   KLB   might have belonged to Mark, so this time I contacted Mark directly, though this particular ring series is registered to a Jez Blackburn.

Mark replied to say that   KNV   was his, and it was ringed as an un-sexed breeding adult, on the 31st May 2018, at Scolt Head National Nature Reserve, in Norfolk, England.  Prior to today's sighting,   KNV    has been recorded on three previous occasions - Port Seton, Lothian, Scotland (July 2018), Scolt Head NNR (April 2019), and back at Port Seton (July 2019).

The direct line distance from Scolt Head to Kinnegar Beach, is 469 kms / 291 miles (WNW), and the duration was now 1 year, 3 months and 29 days.  My thanks to Mark Collier for his prompt reply, and for the information supplied.

Sandwich Tern  -    KNV   -  Kinnegar Beach, Belfast Lough, Co. Down  (29 Sep 2019)
(Ringed as an Un-Sexed Breeding Adult, on the 31st May 2018, at Scolt Head NNR, Norfolk, England)

Leaving Kinnegar Beach, I took a look at the birds on the pond, which acts as a high tide roost for both gulls and waders.  With no more rings spotted, I headed off towards the western shore of Strangford Lough.  Checking quite a few sites, starting at Castle Espie and finishing at Millquarter Bay, no more ringed birds were spotted.  In fact, there was a distinct lack of birds altogether at many places, which was no wonder, as it was nearing high tide here as well.

I continued to Ardglass Harbour, which lies on the south coast of County Down, and here, I did record a number of rings.  Parking on a quay, away from the main harbour, I scoped the gulls on the rocky islets and on the rooftops of some of the warehouses.  Many gulls were lying down, which was of no use to me.

To liven things up, I crumbled handfuls of bread onto the quayside, and then walked back to my car.  This certainly did the trick, as in no time, I had quite an audience, including three ringed birds on the same rooftop - a colour-ringed Herring Gull, a metal-ringed Herring Gull, and a metal-rung Great Black-backed Gull.

My first priority, was to focus on the easiest read ring, which was the colour-ringed Herring Gull, just in case the birds would fly off.  In seconds, I had a few photos, with the code reading -   726:D , which I knew was from Dublin.  On returning home on Sunday evening, I reported my sighting of   726:D , to my 'Ring Reading' counterpart in Dublin - Graham Prole, who is also the ringing coordinator for the Irish Midlands Ringing Group.

Normally, Graham is usually very quick to reply, but this time took a while longer.  When the reply came, Graham had a problem,   726:D   was not on his Herring Gull database, although it was clearly one of their birds.  He had noticed that a partial number on the birds metal ring could be read -   GC76*** , and wondered if I had any other photos showing the remainder of the ring number.  Only with the complete metal-number, could this bird be identified as an individual.

On checking my photos, Graham was in luck, as one photo showed the remaining part of the number -   048 .  With the number now reading   GC76048 , it had become obvious, that when the details were entered onto the database, and when submitted to the BTO, the inclusion of colour-marks had been overlooked.  Strangely enough, this was the first time that I've had to identify a colour-ringed bird, by virtue of supplying it's metal number.

I now had a result for   726:D , which had been ringed as a juvenile, on the 1st July 2018, and this was the first re-sighting of the bird since then.  Ringed on the island of Ireland's Eye, just off the coast of County Dublin,   726:D   had flown 99 kms / 62 miles (NNE) to Ardglass, the duration being 1 year, 2 months and 28 days.

This turned out to be a good result for both Graham and myself.  Had anyone else, reported   726:D , then Graham may have had difficulties in supplying any kind of info.  Another job well done, and this goes a long way into what I always say - a camera always provides authentic results.

My thanks as always goes to Graham, who incidentally has not responded to the wee question that I posed concerning the metal-rung Herring Gull, which was on the roof at the same time as   726:D   - (a slight dig in the ribs Graham).

(Juvenile) Herring Gull  -    726:D   -  Ardglass Harbour, Ardglass, Co. Down  (29 Sep 2019)
(Ringed as a Juvenile, on the 1st July 2018, on Ireland's Eye Island, Co. Dublin, Republic of Ireland)

The second photo of    726:D , Showing the Remainder of the 'Metal Number -   048 '

The Full 'Metal-Number' of Herring Gull  -    726:D   -     GC76048 .

The second Herring Gull, which was fitted with a metal ring only, did fly off, but not before I managed a handful of photos.  When I checked through these, I had a partial number, and was missing a single digit.  Although the ring read   GR6*771 , there was definitely something showing where the missing digit was placed after the   6 .

I went onto the BTO's DemOn Ringing Database, and replaced the missing digit with the numbers 0 to 9 in turn.  I was looking for one number unique to a Herring Gull, and these are the results:-

GR60771 was used on a Mallard in 2015
GR61771 was used on a Barn Owl in 2013
GR62771 was used on a Buzzard in 2012
GR63771 was used on a Barn Owl, also in 2013
GR64771 was used on a Herring Gull in 2013
GR65771 is either unused or ringing details have yet to be submitted
GR66771 was used on a Barn Owl in 2016
GR67771 was used on a Barn Owl in 2012
GR68771 was used on a Barn Owl in 2014
GR69771 was used on a Tawny Owl in 2014

I came so close to discovering the exact number for my Herring Gull, which looks to be   GR64771 , but until the details for   GR65771   are submitted, I cannot be 100% sure.  Looking at the gull's metal ring, there is a slight indentation where the missing digit is placed, but whether it is actually a 4 or a 5 is unclear.  For now, this gull has been entered onto my spreadsheet with it's partial number.  Perhaps, I'll come across this bird the next time I visit Ardglass Harbour.

Herring Gull  -    GR6*771   -  Ardglass Harbour, Ardglass, Co. Down  (29 Sep 2019)

The metal-rung Great Black-backed Gull, definitely did not hang around for too long.  Initially seen with the two ringed Herring Gulls on the same rooftop, it flew to a nearby lamppost, as I was taking photos of it's ring.  I knew in my own mind, I needed more photos of the ring, but whilst the gull was on the lamppost, I just couldn't get an angle or height to see the ring.  Moments later, it again flew off, this time towards the main harbour.

Looking at my photos, I was right in my assumption, I only had a partial number, reading   MA348** .  Unless 100 Great Black-backed Gulls were ringed as chicks on the same date, there would be no way of tying down a date and site of ringing through the BTO's DemOn Database.  I'm not even going to try on this one, but for now, it will go onto the spreadsheet as a partial.

As a 'Ring Reader', I pride myself when it comes to reading metals, but today, two have slipped through my fingers.

Great Black-backed Gull  -    MA348**   -  Ardglass Harbour, Ardglass, Co. Down  (29 Sep 2019)

Having missed out on the two metal-rung gulls, I moved on round to the main harbour, to see if I could relocate either bird.  No such luck with these, but I did discover another two Great Black-backed Gulls, both bearing colour-rings.

The first of these was my third sighting of (White) 1K5:C, which had been ringed as a chick, on the 28th June 2014, at Horse Isle Nature Reserve, just off the coast of Ardrossan, in Ayrshire, Scotland.  The distance from Horse Isle to Ardglass is 160 kms / 100 miles (SSW), and the duration is now 5 years, 3 months and 1 day.

Before today, I have six previous records of 1K5:C, on my spreadsheet - June 2015, at Ardglass (D. Clarke), January 2016, at Ardglass (J. O'Neill), August 2016, at Ardglass (S. Belshaw), June 2017, at Ardglass (Me), November 2017, at Millquarter Bay (G. McElwaine), and finally in February 2019, at Ardglass (Me).  Millquarter Bay, is 7kms / 4 miles (NE), from Ardglass Harbour.

It was great to record another previous sighting.  I sent an email to Iain Livingston, who is the contact for the Clyde Ringing Group, but as yet, I have not received a reply.  As far as I know, 1K5:C, has not been re-sighted back in Scotland.

Great Black-backed Gull  -  (White)  1K5:C  -  Ardglass Harbour, Ardglass, Co. Down  (29 Sep 2019)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 28th June 2014, at Horse Isle NNR, Ardrossan, Ayrshire, Scotland)

The second Great Black-backed Gull -   M52:M , was a juvenile ringed this summer on the Calf of Man, just off the southern coast of the Isle of Man, which lies in the middle of the Irish Sea.

When I spotted   M52:M , I thought this was the same bird spotted by Graham McElwaine, here at Ardglass Harbour, on the 1st September 2019, but on consulting my spreadsheet Graham's bird was actually   M57:M , which was also ringed on the Calf of Man this past summer.  Ardglass Harbour lies 57 kms / 35 miles (WNW), from the Calf of Man.  Ringed on the 18th July 2019, the duration for   M52:M , is now 2 months and 11 days.

My thanks goes to Mark Fitzpatrick for providing the info.

(Juvenile) Great Black-backed Gull  -    M52:M   -  Ardglass Harbour, Ardglass, Co. Down  (29 Sep 2019)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 18th July 2019, on the Calf of Man, Isle of Man)

Having had some success at Ardglass Harbour, the tide was well on the turn.  I re-visited earlier sites as the tide receded, but very few gulls turned up.  With no other rings spotted, I made the long journey back home.  Whilst doing so, I reflected on the day's birds and sites visited, and my mind focused onto Black-headed Gulls - where are they?

Over recent weeks, and including today, the number of Black-headed Gulls appear to be way down for this time of the year.  The best spots at present, are the mudflats at Dargan and Kinnegar Beach, but on reflection, even these should have more birds.  Even in my home town of Ballymena, there are very few Black-headed Gulls about.  Recent visits to my local park, have yielded very low numbers for some reason.

Could it possibly be, that the weather conditions over Europe and Scandinavia have been so good, the gulls from these areas are late in departing.  As far as I know, none of the Norwegian colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls have been recorded back in Northern Ireland. 

******************************

No comments: