Thursday, 21 October 2021

Estonian Returnee ???

Another quite long post, and again published on time.  Believe it or not, going to a four day week at work is making a big difference to time allocated to my blog post.  Albeit, I'm still working over five evenings, Monday to Friday, finishing an hour and a half earlier, provides me with an extra few hours to answer emails, submit sightings, work on my spreadsheets, databases, editing photos etc.  My new work contract officially started this week, which saw me getting a pay rise of 30 pence an hour, and not only that, we are being given a 10 pound a week bonus for completing five nights.  Not only does that make up for the pay that I will lose by dropping to a four day week, but rumours are circulating that we shall all get a pay rise fairly soon.  I'm now sitting here in my 'element', with the extra time on my hands.
My Black-headed Gull Study at Antrim Marina, has really come to life, as several birds have returned for another winter.  Not only have the two Polish birds returned, but it looks as if my 'star bird' -   2FDJ  , has also returned from Estonia.  This gull needs to be confirmed, but I think Suzanne Belshaw has 'bagged' this one.
Again, emails are flowing forwards and backwards at a steady pace, but I'm in a far happy situation where I now find the time to work with it all.  I even found time to power-hose my back yard inch by painful inch, which took me two days (booked off as holidays).  My back feels as if it's broken in two, but I hope it eases for work on Friday evening.
      Antrim Marina - Monday 18th October 2021       
I was really looking forwards to my latest visit to Antrim Marina, as I was expecting to record at least one or two returnees, as mentioned in my previous post.  On leaving home this morning, the heavy overnight rain was still falling as I took my wife to work first.  Driving from Ballymena towards Antrim, the rain began to ease off, and when I arrived, it had stopped.  Throughout the early part of my visit, it was very dull, but later on the sun broke through.  The westerly wind was not too strong, but it did keep the gulls off the roof of the 'Gateway Centre'.

Today, I was on the lookout for 35 colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls recorded this winter, which included 1 adult and 3 juveniles that had been caught and ringed here in recent weeks.  Just 22 BHGs were present on my arrival at 09:10, and none of those were ringed.  Within minutes, birds were 'bombing' in, with -   2FFF  being the first ring read at 09:26.  My 7th sighting at 09:40, had me racing to grab my camera, as -   2AAR  had arrived back from Poland.  A couple of fairly poor photos were taken, but I did get far better pictures later in the morning.  I was really delighted to see that -   2AAR  had survived another breeding season.

  2AAR , was caught and ringed at Antrim Marina, as an adult male, on the 21st December 2012.  Since then, all re-sighting records bar two, have been made at Antrim Marina.  These two were sighting made in Poland in April 2013.  On the 5th,   2AAR  was spotted at Gdańsk, and then on the 11th,   2AAR  was then spotted within a breeding colony at Hryniewicze - 1,921 kms / 1,193 miles (E) from Antrim.

The key dates for   2AAR , is as follows :-

Ringed, 21st December 2012, final sighting at Antrim Marina - 12th March 2013.
5th April 2013 - Gdańsk, Poland.
11th April 2013 -  Hryniewicze, Poland.
Return to Antrim Marina - 20th October 2013, final sighting - 9th March 2014.
Return to Antrim Marina - 17th October 2014, final sighting - 15th March 2015.
Return to Antrim Marina - 11th October 2015, final sighting - 6th March 2016.
Return to Antrim Marina - 16th October 2016, final sighting - 5th March 2017.
Return to Antrim Marina - 22nd October 2017, final sighting - 12th March 2018.
Return to Antrim Marina - 15th October 2018, final sighting - 11th March 2019.
Return to Antrim Marina - 21st October 2019, final sighting - 9th March 2020.
Return to Antrim Marina - 9th November 2020, final sighting - 4th January 2021 (Lockdown Begins)
Return to Antrim Marina - 18th October 2021.

Once back at Antrim Marina,   2AAR  would be recorded during most weekly visits, and today's sighting is the 190th overall.  The duration since being ringed, is now 8 years, 9 months and 27 days.

Black-headed Gull  -    2AAR   -  Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Co. Antrim  (18 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as an Adult Male, on the 21st December 2012, at Antrim Marina)
Having recorded one returnee from Poland, I was ecstatic, when at 11:52 this morning, the 23rd of 24 colour-rings read, was that of the second Polish returnee -   2CSL .  I caught and ringed -   2CSL , here at the Marina on the 24th December 2017, as an un-sexed adult.  Away from the Marina, there has been just the one re-sighting, which occurred on the 29th March 2018, when -   2CSL  was spotted at Olsztyn in Poland.  It cannot be taken for granted that -   2CSL  actually breeds in Poland, as the country may have been a 'stepping stone' to another country.  For now,   2CSL  is Polish, unless other re-sightings prove otherwise.

Although a more recently rung bird, the key dates are as follows :-

Ringed, 24th December 2017, final sighting at Antrim Marina - 19th March 2018.
29th March 2018 - Olsztyn, Poland.
Return to Antrim Marina - 20th August 2018, final sighting - 11th March 2019.
Return to Antrim Marina - 19th August 2019, final sighting - 13th March 2020.
Return to Antrim Marina - 25th October 2020, final sighting - 4th January 2021 (Lockdown Begins).
Return to Antrim Marina - 18th October 2021.
Today's latest sighting, takes the duration to 3 years, 9 months and 24 days, since   2CSL  was ringed.
Black-headed Gull  -    2CSL   -  Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Co. Antrim  (18 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as an Un-Sexed Adult, on the 24th December 2017, at Antrim Marina)
Another gull which was constantly on my mind during today's visit, was -   2FDJ , last seen in Estonia back in April of this year.  Knowing it is due back, I did not get the gull today, so I decided that it would be a 'cert' by the time of my next visit.  However, I did not know it at the time, but with the arrival of an email this evening whilst at work, it appears as if -   2FDJ  has returned (read Suzanne's account below).
Having read 24 rings during my visit, I made two attempts at catching birds before I departed.  Dropping bread at the feet of the juvenile swans, my first attempt failed, but on the second attempt, I managed to capture another juvenile, which now carries the code -   2FHL .
With the addition of this juvenile, plus three returnees, I will be looking out for 39 colour-rings during my next visit.  Of the 13 absentees today, none of the four gulls ringed this winter were recorded.  At the minute, it seems unlikely that I'll record any of these gulls again this winter.  If they have moved on, I'm now relying on sightings elsewhere by other observers.  
Overall, Black-headed Gull numbers quickly reached the 100+ mark by 10am, and this total remained constant throughout my visit, though clearly some birds were coming and going.  As we are approaching the end of the month, I am expecting weekly numbers to rise to the 200 mark, as more birds arrive to settle in for the winter.
Colour Ringed Black-headed Gulls Recorded at Antrim Marina on Monday 18th October 2021
 2FFF   2AAK   2ACV   2AAB   2ABK   2FFA   2AAR   2CTC 
 2AAN   2FHA   2ABA   2BRA   2CSB   2CSJ   2CJT   2ABN 
 2FDK   2CSR   2ABS   2FFJ   2ABL   2FDV   2CSL   2FFX 

Black-headed Gulls Recorded This Autum/Winter but Absent Today
 2AAA   2CSA   2CSX   2FDT   2FFC   2FFL   2FFN 
 2FFP   2FHC   2FHF   2FHH   2FHJ   2FHK   

Email from Suzanne Belshaw
Whilst I was at work on Monday evening, an email was received from Suzanne Belshaw.  Although it was not planned, late on Saturday afternoon, Suzanne made a last minute decision to call into Antrim Marina.  At roughly the same time, I was about to leave Kinnego Marina, on the southern edge of Lough Neagh, to head home.  At that point, the light was beginning to fail due to heavy cloud and the time of day.  When I got as far as Antrim town, I pondered whether I should check a couple of sites which also included Antrim Marina, but decided not to, due to the poor lighting conditions.

During Suzanne's brief visit to Antrim Marina, she recorded 7 colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls, with the 'stand out' bird among them, being -   2FDJ .  Suzanne took photos of all seven birds, and in her own words, she stated - "It’s a blurry photo, in fact the worst of all the photos I took, but I reckon 2FDJ is already here, keeping a low profile!".
Black-headed Gull  -    2FDJ   -  Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Co. Antrim  (16 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as an Un-Sexed 2nd Winter Bird, on the 18th November 2019, at Antrim Marina)
(Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw)
Suzanne, is an avid reader of my blog, and regularly submits her own ring sightings, most of which are reported on by me.  Having read my previous post about the returnees that were now due, possibly that swayed her decision to call by the Marina.  I tried my best in editing Suzanne's photo of -   2FDJ , but to me, I reckon she has nailed this one, despite the quality of the photo.  Suzanne uses a Nikon P900 camera, the predecessor to the Nikon P1000 which I use, and both cameras can be tricky to use in low light, as the 'auto focus' begins to struggle.

  2FDJ , is my 'star' bird at the Marina, as it is now the longest 'distance' flying Black-headed Gull which has been caught and ringed on the site.  Back on the 4th April 2021,   2FDJ  was reported visiting a rubbish dump at Tartu in eastern Estonia, just 44 kms short from the border with Russia.  I had hoped for another sighting during the breeding season so as to confirm which country the gull actually bred in, but unfortuantely there were no other sightings.  All I could do now, was keep my fingers crossed, that the gull would make it safely back to Antrim Marina.

  2FDJ , was ringed at Antrim Marina, as an un-sexed 2nd winter bird, on the 18th November 2019.  My final sighting for the winter of 2019/2020, was made on the 9th March.  No breeding season sightings came in during the summer of 2020, and -   2FDJ , returned to Antrim Marina on the 25th October 2020.  My final sighting for the 2020/2021 winter, was made on the 4th January 2021, thereafter, I had to suspend my weekly visits due to the second 'Covid Lockdown.

The 'Lockdown', did not prevent the gulls from moving about, as on the 5th February 2021, a Scott Black spotted -   2FDJ , at Strathclyde Country Park at Motherwell in Scotland.  Then on the 11th, 13th and 14th February 2021, Alasdair Fyffe reported -   2FDJ  on a frozen lake at Kay Park in Kilmarnock, Scotland - the gull was on it's way to Estonia.

The distance to Tartu in Estonia, is 2,060 kms / 1,280 miles (NE) from Antrim Marina, and the duration, as of Suzanne's sighting on the 16th October 2021, is now 1 year, 10 months and 28 days, since being ringed.  A second re-sighting is needed just to be 'sure to be sure', but with the inclusion of -   2FDJ , I'm on the lookout for 39 colour-ringed BHGs on my next visit.
I'm dying to inform both Scott Black and Alasdair Fyffe, about the return of -   2FDJ , but this will have to wait until the return has been fully confirmed.

A second gull of note on Suzanne's list, was her sighting of -   2FFC .  This gull was reported back at Antrim Marina, by Graham McElwaine on the 4th October 2021, but I have not recorded this gull during my two recent visits.  Graham's sighting included a photo which did not clearly show the code on the ring, but a photo sent by Suzanne, clearly confirms this bird's return.
  2FFC , was ringed as an un-sexed adult, on the 30th November 2020, at the Marina, and was last seen on the 4th January 2021, when the second 'Covid Lockdown' prevented any further weekly visits.  No breeding season sightings were reported.
Black-headed Gull  -    2FFC   -  Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Co. Antrim  (16 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as an Un-Sexed Adult, on the 30th November 2020, at Antrim Marina)
(Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw)
Black-headed Gulls Recorded by Suzanne Belshaw on Saturday 16th October 2021
 2FDJ   2ACV   2FFC   2FFL   2FDK   2ABK   2AAN 
Other Birds at Antrim Marina
It was another poor showing again, as far as other species are concerned.  No Common Gulls appeared today, and the usual adult Herring Gull, did not arrive until 11:45.
Interestingly, the six cygnets were along with what I presume to be, their father.  Most of the time, the cygnets would be seen with their mother only, but there was no sign of her today for some reason.  No other swans appeared during my visit.
Just 15 Mallards were present on my arrival, but as with the Black-headed Gulls, numbers quickly increased.  A count around 11am, gave a total of roughly 78 birds altogether.
A Jay, flew low over the Marina, having came from the woods at Antrim Boat Club across the river from the Marina, and landed on the conifers on the edge of the Golf Course.  I did not have my camera to hand, but as far as I can recollect, this is my first ever sighting of a Jay here.
Just two Jackdaws, and a female Grey Wagtail, were the only other species recorded today.

      Saturday 16th October 2021       
After early morning chores today, I departed from home at 13:30, with my destination being Ballyronan Marina, on the north-west shore of Lough Neagh.  On Monday past, one of my Antrim Marina rung Black-headed Gull's -   2FFH , was spotted at Ballyronan by David Morrow.  In my reply to David, I had asked if the sighting was at Ballyronan Marina, and was a photograph taken.  As there has been no reply, I wanted to find -   2FFH  for myself.  The gull had been reported as being an adult, but actually it was a now second winter bird, so would not have the bright red legs of an adult.
On my way to Ballyronan, I had to pass through the village of Toomebridge.  At Toomebridge, I had to drive over the bridge which spans the River Bann underneath.  The River Bann, is the outlet for Lough Neagh, with it's waters eventually entering the sea on the north coast between Castlerock and Portstewart.  As I was passing over the bridge, I could see a large number of Black-headed Gulls, perched on top of what I believe, are the 'Toomebridge Eel Traps'.

I turned into the car park beside the traps, and as I was getting my gear ready to scope the gulls they flew off, with many landing in a field on the opposite side of the river.  A few of the estimated 50 to 60 birds did return, but no rings were spotted.  I must keep this site in mind for future visits.

Onwards to Ballyronan, and I soon reached the Marina.  Here again, were another 50 to 60 Black-headed Gulls, plus one adult Common Gull.  The gulls were all nicely perched along a structure which must have been built sometime since the last time I was here.  I definitely do not remember seeing it before.  The gulls were easily scoped, but my target -   2FFH , was not among them.  Some of the gulls stood on one leg, so I was either looking for the tell-tale signs of a metal ring or a Darvic, but none had a ring of any sort.  Having remained for about an hour, no more gulls arrived, so I began the long drive to Lurgan Park.

As I drove down Castle Lane in Lurgan which leads to the Park, I could see several hundred Black-headed Gulls perched on the rooftops close to the Iceland Store.  I decided I would come back to the car park there after visiting Lurgan Park Lake.  On reaching the lake, there were not too many Black-headed Gulls about, but these consisted of mainly 2nd winter, and juveniles birds.  At this park, I was watching out for three birds in particular, one was from Adam's former NI project, one was from Poland - these two being colour-ringed, and a metal-rung bird from England.  After a lengthy visit which saw a whole loaf of bread disappear, not a single ring was spotted.

Returning to the car park at the Iceland store, I managed to lure around 20 Black-headed Gulls down with slices from a second loaf.  No matter how hard I tried, the others remained on the rooftops.  Again, no rings, so I then headed off to Kinnego Marina, on the southern shore of Lough Neagh.
At Kinnego Marina, I quickly recorded my first ring of the day, Black-headed Gull -   2BPN   2BPN , was one of six birds belonging to Adam former project, which had been colour-ringed here at Kinnego Marina.  Two of those six, one a juvenile and the other, a controlled bird originally from Latvia, have not been seen for a number of years now, and are considered to have died.
Of the remaining four, they are known winter residents, but there is a lack of breeding season visits to the Marina to record whether or not they are present in the summer.  Around 40 Black-headed Gulls were present, with -   2BPN  being the only colour-ringed bird spotted.
  2BPN , was caught and ringed as an adult female, on the 29th October 2014.  Today's sighting, is the 74th record of the bird, with all sightings having been made at the Marina.  There has never been any sightings made during the months of April, May or June.  The duration since being ringed, is now 6 years, 11 months and 17 days.  The last time this bird was recorded, was back on the 26th July 2020, when re-sighted by Suzanne Belshaw.  If nothing else, at least we know one of the four remaining colour-ringed birds is still alive. 
Black-headed Gull  -    2BPN   -  Kinnego Marina, Lough Neagh, Co. Armagh  (16 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as an Adult Female, on the 29th October 2014, at Kinnego Marina)
Looking through the rest of the gulls with my binoculars, I spotted a metal-rung bird, which turned out to be another regular winter visitor here.    EN52966 , was ringed as a chick, on the 3rd June 2009, on Blacker's Rock Island, on the western shore of Lough Neagh, County Tyrone.  The first ever re-sighting of   EN52966 , was made by me here at Kinnego Marina, on the 31st October 2015.

Today's sighting, is the 17th record on my spreadsheet, with all sightings having been made at Kinnego Marina.  It has been recorded here at least once every year since my initial sighting.  Kinnego Marina is situated 17 kms / 10 miles (SE) from Blacker's Rock, and the duration since being ringed, is 12 years, 4 months and 13 days.
Whilst trying to photograph the metal ring, it had become very dull, with the first few spits of rain.  I had a lot of trouble getting the camera to focus in the poor light, and matters were no helped by the gull's non-stop movements.  Having eventually captured the number it was time to head home.  Not a great day out, but something is better than nothing.
Black-headed Gull  -    EN52966   -  Kinnego Marina, Lough Neagh, Co. Armagh  (16 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 3rd June 2009, on Blacker's Rock Island, Lough Neagh, Co. Tyrone)
      Sunday 17th October 2021       
My intention today, was to cover the outer Ards Peninsular, which would also include checking on Common Gulls at Millisle.  Whilst driving towards Belfast, I changed my mind, as it started to rain.  I did not fancy driving that far just in case the rain prevailed.

Now deciding to stay in the Belfast area, I spent the afternoon checking Whitehouse Lagoon, Kinnegar Beach, the Dargan mudflats, Whitehouse Lagoon (2nd visit), and finally finished off the afternoon at the Connswater mudflats.
Three metal-ringed birds were spotted, plus re-sightings of two colour-ringed gulls.  Two of the three metal rings were noted on Kinnegar Beach.  One was on an Oystercatcher, which was far to far away for my camera, and the second was on a Black-headed Gull, which I reckoned was just about reach-able.  This bird seemed to be 'sporting' one of the new type metals, where the code reads upwards, and is repeated twice around the ring.  I know this type of ring is being used in Denmark, and I believe the Germans may also be using them.
As I was zooming in towards the gull, another Black-headed Gull stopped and blocked out my view.  Staying focused onto my target, a few minutes later it flew off in the direction of the RSPB Reserve.  The third metal was on a Black-headed Gull on the Connswater mudflats, but again, it was too far away for my camera.

The two colour-ringed Gull's, were both spotted on Kinnegar Beach, and were re-sightings.  The first, was Herring Gull -   0L:W , which was ringed as an un-sexed adult, on the 22nd May 2014, on Big Copeland Island in County Down.  Today's sighting, is now the ninth to go onto my spreadsheet, with all sightings having been recorded here on Kinnegar Beach - November 2015, October 2016, September 2018, August, September, October and twice in December 2019.
The distance from Big Copeland Island to Kinnegar Beach, is 21 kms / 13 miles (W), and the duration since being ringed, is 7 years, 4 months and 25 days.
Herring Gull  -    0L:W   -  Kinnegar Beach, Belfast Lough, Co. Down  (17 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as an Un-Sexed Adult, on the 22nd May 2014, on Big Copeland Island, Co. Down)
The second bird, was Common Gull -   2ACJ , which I recorded here two weeks ago on the 3rd October 2021.    2ACJ , was ringed as an un-sexed breeding adult, on the 14th May 2010, also on Big Copeland Island.  Today's sighting, is also the ninth record for this bird - December 2016 - Kinnegar Beach, July (x2) 2017 - Donaghadee, County Down, November 2018 - Kinnegar Beach, April 2019 - Donaghadee, October 2019 - Kinnegar Beach, April 2021 - Millisle, Co. Down, and the 3rd October 2021 - Kinnegar Beach.
The distance for this one, was given as 22 kms / 13 miles (W), and the duration since being ringed, is 11 years, 5 months and 3 days.
Common Gull  -    2ACJ   -  Kinnegar Beach, Belfast Lough, Co. Down  (17 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as an Un-Sexed Breeding Adult, on the 14th May 2010, on Big Copeland Island, Co. Down)
      From David Morrow       
On Wednesday 20th October 2021, I received an email from David Morrow, concerning a colour-ringed juvenile Black-headed Gull - (White) 2503.  I instantly remembered that bird, as I had recorded it at Carrickfergus Leisure Centre on the 28th August 2021, and despite having returned there twice since, there was no sign of the youngster.

Earlier on Wednesday, as David was returning home from work, he called into the park at Dungannon, where he spotted - (White) 2503.  The gull was ringed as a chick, on the 17th June 2021, on Goat's Island, Lough Ree, County Longford in the Republic of Ireland.  David reported his sighting to Brian Burke, who has since replied.  David thanked Brian for his sighting report, and estimated the distance from Lough Ree to Dungannon Park, as being 127 kms / 78 miles (NE).
The distance from Carrickfergus Leisure Centre, where I had spotted the juvenile, to Dungannon Park, is 66 kms / 41 miles (SW), which is taking the youngster closer to home.  The duration since being ringed is 4 months and 3 days.
David took a photo with his mobile phone, but sadly the code cannot be read.  My thanks goes to David, who stated that he does most of his birding in counties Tyrone and Londonderry.  Very few ring sightings are reported from those counties, especially County Tyrone, but David will now contact me if he comes across any more.  It's brilliant to know, that this youngster is alive and well.  My thanks also goes to Brian for his quick reply.
Juvenile Black-headed Gull  -  (White)  2503  -  Dungannon Park, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone  (20 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 17th June 2021, on Goat's Island, Lough Ree, Co. Longford, R. of Ireland)
(Photo Courtesy of David Morrow)
      From Suzanne Belshaw       
When I answered Suzanne's email regarding her visit to Antrim Marina, I requested a photo that she took of Black-headed Gull -   2FFC .  When I received the photo, I also had the added bonus of three other gull re-sightings which Suzanne has recorded this month.

Common Gull -   2AIP , is a bird I have been looking for recently at Whiteabbey Shore on Belfast Lough.  Suzanne recorded a Common Gull there on the 5th October 2021, and reckoned it was -   2AIP   .  The photo that she took, does not show the code, but as the ring reads top to bottom, instead of bottom to top, this most certainly has to be the same gull, which is a regular visitor at Whiteabbey.

It was ringed as a chick, on the 11th June 2012, on Big Copeland Island in County Down.  This latest sighting, is the 21st record to go onto my spreadsheet, and all sightings have been recorded on the Whiteabbey Shore.  The last sighting of -   2AIP , was also made by Suzanne, on the 30th August 2020, therefore it's good to know that it is still with us.

The distance from Big Copeland Island to Whiteabbey, is 23 kms / 14 miles (W), and the duration is now 9 years, 3 months and 24 days.  Like so many of these Blue Darvics, the condition is really beginning to deteriorate.

Common Gull  -    2AIP   -  Whiteabbey Shore, Belfast Lough, Co. Antrim  (05 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as a chick, on the 17th June 2012, on Big Copeland Island, The Copeland Islands, Co. Down)
(Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw)
After leaving Whiteabbey, Suzanne then called into Whitehouse Lagoon, which takes about 5 minutes or less by car.  Here, she broke my 'monopoly' of sightings, by recording Lesser Black-backed Gull -   F461
  F461 , was ringed before being released on the 18th November 2014, by RIAS, which is an animal Wildlife Rescue Centre (Read Here), based at Quinta de Marim on the southern coast of Portugal.  All of the previous Northern Ireland sightings, six in all, were made by me - October 2015 - Whiteabbey, August and October 2016 - Whiteabbey, September 2018 - Whitehouse Lagoon, October 2019 - Whitehouse Lagoon, and on the 5th September 2021 - Whiteabbey Shore.
Back home in Portugal, it has been recorded in 2015 (11 sightings), 2017 (1 sighting), 2018 (3 sightings) and 2019 (1 sighting).

After I re-sighted -   F461 , on the 5th September 2021, I sent an email to RIAS, to inform them of my latest record, by to date I have not received a reply.  I shall now get onto them again, with Suzanne's sighting, and hopefully we will get a reply this time.

The distance from Quinta de Marim to Whitehouse Lagoon, is an impressive 1,965 kms / 1,220 miles (N), and the duration since being ringed, is now 6 years, 10 months and 17 days.
Lesser Black-backed Gull  -    F461   -  Whitehouse Lagoon, Belfast Lough, Co. Antrim  (05 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as an Un-Sexed Adult, on the 18th November 2014, at Quinta de Marim, Olhäo, Portugal)
(Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw)
A more recent sighting, made on the 13th October 2021, was yet another sighting in recent months of the Polish-rung Mediterranean Gull -   PPN5 .  Suzanne stated that she has not submitted her sighting to the 'Live' Online Polish Ringing Database, which now reminds me, that I have not submitted Cameron Moore's sighting made on the 19th September 2021, at Whitehead in County Antrim.  I did however, submit Cameron's sighting at Whitehead, made on the 3rd August 2021.

  PPN5 , was ringed as a chick, on the 20th May 2014, on Lake Ryńskie, near Rybical in Poland.  All recent sightings have been made in Northern Ireland :-

18th July 2018, Millquarter Bay, Co. Down by Graham McElwaine.
11th August 2019, Kilclief Bay, Co. Down by Graham McElwaine.
14th December 2019, Whiteabbey Shore, Co. Antrim by Suzanne Belshaw.
3rd August 2021, Whitehead, Co. Antrim by Cameron Moore.
19th September 2021, Whitehead by Cameron Moore.

Earlier sightings are :- July 2014 - Orfordness in England, September and October 2015 - Isle of Luing, Scotland, March 2016 in France, and May 2016 in Poland.

Suzanne's sighting was made on the shore at Loughshore Park in Jordanstown, County Antrim, which is situated close to Whiteabbey.  I do not have an offical distance for Jordanstown, but Whiteabbey is 1,765 kms / 1.096 miles west from Rybical.  The duration since being ringed, is now 7 years, 4 months and 23 days.

Many thanks again, goes to Suzanne for sharing her sightings, along with the photos.
Mediterranean Gull  -    PPN5   -  Loughshore Park (Shore), Belfast Lough, Co. Antrim  (13 Oct 2021)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 20th May 2014, at Rybical, Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Poland)
(Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw)