Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Visit Delayed...


      Black-headed Gulls At Antrim Marina - Monday 18th September 2017       
I decided against, to carry out my normal Sunday visit to Antrim Marina, instead, making the long drive down to the western side of Strangford Lough.  Saturday, was poor weather-wise, as it rained for most of the day and I decided not to go out at all.

Visiting the Marina, today - Monday 18th, the weather was very mild and after a nippie start to the day, saw plenty of sunshine and a calm breeze.  This was the seventh of my weekly 'winter visits', recording 'colour-ringed' Black-headed Gulls, which saw   2AAP , being added to the 'winter list', increasing the total to 18 birds.

I had mentioned about the absence of   2AAP , in last week's post.  This is one of those gulls, that is normally 'under your feet' all the time and for that reason, I couldn't understand it's non-appearance before now.  Even, before I had a chance to take a photo,   2AAP  was off, not to be seen again for the remainder of my visit.

Overall, the number of Black-headed Gulls present throughout my visit, was very good, numbering around 80 to 100 birds.  Having said that, the turnover of gulls coming and going, must have been quite high.  I use 'ringed' birds, to judge the turnover, the higher the number present, the lower the turnover.  The juveniles, however, appear to remain longer than adults, as they are waiting on the ducks being fed and their chance for an easy meal.

A BHG appeared, that had just the one leg - it's left leg.  I thought at first, this was 'one-leg', a gull I have hand-fed, ever since I started coming to Antrim Marina.  I soon realised that this was not 'one-leg', as this bird was nervous and shy.  In the past, 'one-leg', has always made her presence known to me, by hovering at the window of my car, looking for a feed.  When I think about it, 'one-leg', is well overdue to arrive back for another winter.


Black-headed Gulls Recorded on Monday 18th September
 2AAN   T35J   2AAP   2ACV   2AAT   2ABF   2CJT 
 2AAB   2AAC   2ABK   2ABS   2AAK   2ABN    



This Week's Absentees
 2AAA   2ADJ   2AAF   2ABL   2BRA 


Black-headed Gull  -    2ABN   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (18 Sep 2017)
(Ringed as an Adult Female, at Antrim Marina, on the 23rd January 2013)

Other Birds at Antrim Marina
None of the Herring Gulls, which have been present in the last few weeks, were seen today and neither was the Lesser Black-backed Gull, which had often been recorded as well.  Two adult Common Gulls appeared briefly, these most likely being the same two, as seen last week.  There is still no sign, of the 'metal-ringed' bird, which should be back in the area by now.

The family of Mute Swans (adult pair, plus 5 cygnets), were present throughout my visit.  Despite the efforts of the male, to chase off a group of 6 Swans, which swam in from the Lough, they all managed to come ashore on the small beach area.  Amongst these, were two ringed birds -   W34158 , who arrived back on the 27th August and   W34157 .  The last time, I recorded   W34157 , here at the Marina, was back on the 26th March 2017.

Mallard numbers, were just slightly lower, than of late, with around 80 birds present at all times.  Again, having checked the majority of legs on these, there were still rings to be seen.

Other species recorded, were 3 Hooded Crows (2 adults, 1 juvenile), 7 Jackdaws (6 adults, 1 juvenile), a pair of Pied Wagtails, a single Grey Wagtail and a juvenile Grey Heron, which landed for a few seconds on the wooden jetty.  Normally, I don't include birds flying over the Marina, but a party of around 40 Greylag Geese, flew low above me, heading northwards.

Elim Church, Parkhall & Antrim KFC
Having completed my visit to the Marina, I then checked the Elim Church at Parkhall for   2AAV  and the car park at the KFC outlet for the Norwegian   JK35 .

A larger than normal, number of BHGs, were at the Elim Church.  With about 60 birds attracted to the bread I was throwing out of the car window, but there was no sign of    2AAV .  A couple of adult and juvenile, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, were also very keen to grab some bread.

Although, there was 27 Black-headed Gulls at the KFC car park,   JK35   was not present.

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      Strangford Lough - Sunday 17th September 2017       
Today, I decided to try the western side of Strangford Lough, Co. Down, in my search for 'ringed' birds.  Seeing, as it is a long drive to get there and a lot of ground to cover, I put off the visit to Antrim Marina, until tomorrow (Monday).

In the end, I wondered why I bothered, as gull numbers, were no-where near as high, as I was expecting to find.  Having scoped, small groups of gulls of various species, the only 'rings' spotted, were on Sandwich Terns at Killyleagh.  Despite these having 'colour-rings', all were too distant, to be able to read them.

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I am hoping to post another feature, concerning ringed birds spotted by Cameron Moore and another one from Suzanne Belshaw.  I have started work on these and I'm waiting at present on ringing details arriving back from those concerned.

Amongst these, is the first sighting of a Common Gull chick, that I 'colour-ringed' this summer.  Although, not too far travelled from it's ringing site, it's nice to get your first reported sighting.  Hopefully, as the weeks pass, a few more will be spotted elsewhere.

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Numbers Increasing...

Aaah, running late again.  With the limited time that has been available for working on 'birdie' stuff, I've been busy with further ring sightings from Cameron Moore.  Sorting through a host of photos, labelling and reporting the birds to the revelent ringers, I'm almost ready to post another feature on Cameron's sightings.  I had intended to post a feature, concerning sightings by Suzanne Belshaw, but as she is waiting on a ringing report on a recently spotted juvenile BHG, it give's me a little time, to prepare an article.

      Black-headed Gulls At Antrim Marina - 10th September 2017       
Today, saw the 6th of my weekly winter visits to Antrim Marina, to record colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls from Adam McClure's Northern Ireland Study.  There was a change in the weather, being quite stormy, with strong westerly winds and frequent showers of rain, some quite heavy.

The conditions, led to an increase in the number of gulls present, with good numbers throughout most of my visit.  Around 10.30, there was a drop in gull numbers, but this did not last for long.  With the sighting of   2ACV , last Sunday, the overall number of 'colour-ringed' BHGs, had wrose to 17 on my winter list.  The expected total for this winter is 29, which includes T35J.

15 of these, were re-sighted today, the only absentees being   2ABL , which has lost it's 'colour-ring' and the Lithuanian - White T35J.    2ABL , can only be identified by it's 'metal-ring', but no gulls with just 'metals', were spotted today.

Three gulls already have me wondering, as they have not been sighted as yet.    2AAH , is a resident, while   2AAP  and   2AAD , appear to be winter visitors, usually being re-sighted at the Marina, in the latter part of the breeding season.  All three of these gulls, should have been spotted by now, as they are normally present from early August, going by past observations.  Having been recorded during the breeding season in previous years, for some reason   2AAH , has not been spotted this summer.  The last record of it's presence, was on the 12th February 2017.  Have we lost another gull?

  2ALH , a gull that bred here in the summer of 2016, remaining at the Marina, until the 11th September 2016, was not spotted this summer or during my recent winter visits.  At some point, I'll have to visit Ward Park, Bangor, County Down, to see if I can find it.  I found it wintering at this site, on the 18th and 24th December 2016, so a few visits to Ward Park, will be required to see if it is still alive.

Another BHG, which is considered as a winter visitor, is   2ABA .  I did spot   2ABA , in the weeks prior to the start of my winter visits, having recorded it's presence on the 16th July 2017.  Checking on it's re-sighting history,   2ABA , has never been recorded here during the months of April, May and June, alway re-appearing in mid July.  I am surprised, that   2ABA  has not been re-sighted of late.

With   2AAV , having been spotted in Antrim's Parkhall Housing Estate and   2ADD , having now most likely, returned to it's wintering quarters in Carrickfergus, the next returnee, should be   2AAR .  This gull, is known to breed in Poland and usually returns to the Marina during October.  I would expect to see it back, either on Sunday 8th or Sunday 15th.  Two other gulls, which may reappear in early to mid October, are   2ACX  and   2ADV .  Their return dates, from past records, are a bit more erratic, making it harder to guess dates for them.

On departing from the Marina just after 1pm, a quick count of the BHGs still present, gave me a total of around 100.  At this time, the only 'colour-ringed' bird present, was   2CJT .  The overall winter list, remains at 17 'colour-ringed' gulls.


Black-headed Gulls Spotted Today at Antrim Marina  -  10th September 2017
 2ABK   2ACV   2ABF   2AAT   2AAC   2AAB   2ADJ   2AAN 
 2CJT   2AAK   2AAF   2BRA   2ABS   2ABN   2AAA    


Today's Absentees
 T35J   2ABL 


Other Birds at Antrim Marina
The family group of Mute Swans, - 2 adult and 5 cygnets, were present throughout my visit.  A single swan, swam in from the lough, just before 10.30 and turned out to be   W34158 .  I'm thinking that the lack of swans visiting the Marina, is due to the male from the family group, chasing off other swans.  I saw this happening last week and today, when   W34158 , attempted to swim round from the small beach to the slipway, it too, was chased off.

Mallard numbers, were consistantly high, with around 100+ birds being present throughout my visit.  I am still waiting to spot my first Mallard this winter, with a 'metal-ring'.

The adult pair of Herring Gulls, were present throughout my visit, but strangely, their chick/chicks, did not appear until 11am, when both youngsters arrived together, much to the excitement of their parents.  With both begging food from the adults, one of the juveniles departed soon afterwards, which still leaves me wondering about the parentage on this one.

A single adult Lesser-Black-backed Gull, was present throughout my four hour visit.

Two adult Common Gulls arrived together, around 12.00 and were still present on my departure, just after 1pm.  I'm now expecting to see the re-appearance of   EY64036 , a small female Common Gull, which has wintered in the area, since arriving as a juvenile during the winter of 2013/14.

Other species recorded today, were, 3 Hooded Crows, 8 Jackdaws and a single Grey Wagtail.  Just like last Sunday, a juvenle Hooded Crow and juvenile Jackdaw, both took pieces of bread, which had been placed on the wing mirror of my car.  The placement of the bread, is to gain the confidence of the juvenile Black-headed Gulls, with the view of catching them on a later date, to be ringed.

Elim Church, Parkhall & Antrim's KFC Outlet
Having spotted Black-headed Gull's,   2AAV  in Parkhall and the Norwegian -   JK35 , at Antrim's KFC outlet, last Sunday, neither bird was spotted at these sites today.  The number of BHGs at the KFC, had increased significantly to over 50 birds, mainly adults.

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      Belfast - Sunday 10th September 2017       
On leaving the Antrim area on Sunday, I drove on down to Belfast, visiting Whitehouse Lagoon, the former Belfast Waterworks and Victoria Park.

Whitehouse Lagoon
Arriving here, I watched, as the remaining mudflats disappeared under an incoming tide.  15 minutes later, they were gone, but this gave me the time to scope the small number of gulls still present and around 300 Black-tailed Godwit's.  Hope's were high on spotting a 'ringed' Godwit, but luck was not on my side today.  With all legs hidden, I moved on to the Waterworks.

Belfast Waterworks
I spent a long time here, as there were plenty of gulls and Mute Swans, especially on the lower lake.  In the end, the only ring recorded, was on a Greylag Goose - White 204.  Ringed as an adult female, on the 12th February 2016, at Victoria Park in Belfast, my only previous sighting of this goose, was made on the 29th January 2017, here at the Waterworks.  Also bearing a satellite collar, this goose belongs to a study on this species and their impact with flights at Belfast City Airport.

Female Greylag Goose  -  White 204  -  Belfast Waterworks  (10 Sep 2017)

Victoria Park
Although, there were plenty of Black-headed and other species of gull, around the park's lake, I was disappointed not to spot any 'ringed' birds.  This is a site, where I have previously spotted a number of 'ringed' Black-headed Gulls and Greylag Geese, so a repeat visit shortly, will be a priority.
 
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Saturday, 9 September 2017

Youngster Returns...

Since a thunderstorm, just over two weeks ago, we have suffered poor or no internet coverage.  This has caused quite a problem, trying to produce or research anything online.  Thursday, saw the arrival of a new router and now things or back to normal.

My intention today (Saturday 9th), was to remain at home and catch up on everything that needs doing, including this post, which should have gone online earlier in the week.  As usual, things do not go to plan.  I have decided, once again, to post an un-finished article and hope to add the rest of the 'meat' tomorrow evening.

After my weekly visit to the Marina in the morning, I intend to go looking for rings, so the blog will have to wait, until I return home. 


      Antrim Marina - Sunday 3rd September 2017       
The weather, was quite mild for this, my 5th weekly visit of the 2017/18 winter season at Antrim Marina.  With 16 Black-headed Gulls on the winter list, this increased by one, as my first sighting of the day was   2ACV .

Last seen at the Marina on the 26th February 2017,   2ACV  probably breeds somewhere around Leighton Moss in Lancashire, England, having been spotted there in late April 2016.  At present, Adam is not responding to emails, so I cannot check to see whether   2ACV , was spotted during the breeding season this summer.

On the whole, likely due to the mild weather, the number of Black-headed Gulls visiting the Marina, was fairly low.  With 27 counted on my arrival, a peak of around 80 to 90 birds, were present between 10.30 and 11am.  Numbers dropped after this, with around 40 gulls, mostly juveniles present when I departed, just after 1pm.

I spent a good part of the morning, teasing some of the juvenile Black-headed Gulls, to fly up and lift bits of bread from the wing mirror of my car.  I'm trying to gain their confidence, with the view of catching some of these by hand at a later date, so that they can be ringed.

As well as   2ACV , a further 7 colour-ringed BHGs were recorded, with 9 birds from this winters list, being absent.  When I departed, around 100 BHGs, were well spread out, feeding on the playing fields close to Antrim Forum.  They were not there, when I drove down the avenue to the Marina at 09.15, this morning.


Black-headed Gulls Spotted Today  -  3rd September 2017
 2ACV   2CJT   2ABS   2AAF   2ADJ   2BRA   2AAA   2ABF 



This Week's Absentees
 T35J   2AAT   2AAK   2AAC   2ABN   2ABK   2AAB   2AAN   2ABL 


Black-headed Gull  -    2ACV   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (03 Sep 2017)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Juvenile, on the 21st October 2013, at Antrim Marina)


Other Birds at Antrim Marina
No Mute Swans, were present on my arrival, but the pair with the five cygnets, appeared from up-river, soon afterwards.  At 11.15, three adult Mute Swans, attempted to swim in from the Lough, but were quickly chased away, by the male from the family group.

Mallard numbers were again high, with 70 birds at first, increasing to around the 100 mark, by the time of my departure.  Again, no rings spotted on any of these.

The juvenile Herring Gull, was present all morning, as was one of it's parents.  A single Lesser Black-backed Gull, arrived at 11.35 and was still present on my departure.  An adult Common Gull, appeared at 11.57, but only stayed for around 10 minutes.

Other species noted were, 4 Hooded Crows, 9 Jackdaws and 3 Grey Wagtails.  One Hooded Crow and Jackdaw, both juveniles, plucked up the courage to take bread from my wing mirror, which had been placed there for the Black-headed Gulls.  This shows, just how hungry these youngsters are now becoming.

Elim Church, Parkhall and Antrim KFC
Moving on from Antrim Marina, I made my now usual stops at the Elim Church in Parkhall and Antrim's KFC outlet.    2AAV , was spotted at the Church, where it can be found quite often during the winter months.  Occasionally, it will travel down to the Marina, then I can add it to the winter list.  I took a photo of   2AAV , but it was blurred, so I've decided not to use it.

Around 30 Black-headed Gulls, were at Antrim's KFC outlet.  The only ring spotted, was my second sighting this winter, of the Norwegian-rung   JK35 .  No blurred photo for this time.

Black-headed Gull  -     JK35   -  Antrim KFC, Co. Antrim  (03 Sep 2017)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 18th June 2014, nr Stavanger, Norway)

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      Ringing Details Recieved       
Ruben Fijn, has kindly sent me the ringing details for the two juvenile Sandwich Terns, which I spotted on the 21st August 2017 (Read Here), just to the north of Donaghadee in County Down.  I had questioned the origin of these two juveniles, as the codes on their rings, were only seven digits apart.

Checking the cr-birding website, the rings were Dutch, which was later confirmed by Mardik Leopold, through contact by Ewan Weston, of the Grampian Ringing Group in Scotland.

One of the two juveniles, despite being just 2 months, since it was ringed, has already provided quite an interesting re-sighting history.  Full details for both Terns, are given below.


Date Details Location / Direction Distance Duration
19 Jun 2017 Ringed as a Chick by Ruben Fijn Scheelhoek, Haringvliet Inlet, SW Holland 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
21 Aug 2017 Spotted by Gareth Platt Donaghadee, Co. Down, Northern Ireland 713 kms / 443 miles (NW) 0y  2m  2d
Details for Sandwich Tern    21.C 

  28.C , has fairly covered the miles since being ringed.  Although the table shows the distance and direction from the ringing site to the location of sighting, it does not give the total milage this young tern has covered.

Having flown from the ringing site, to Newbiggin by the sea,   28.C , then travelled back across the North Sea, to Northern Holland, which added another 468 kms / 290 miles to it's journey.  The direct distance from De Koog, to Donaghadee, added another 696 kms / 432 miles, making a grand total of 1,689 kms / 1, 048 miles.

It is very unlikely, that   21.C  or   28.C , flew directly over the English Mainland in order to reach Northern Ireland.  They could have gone via the north coast of Scotland, then south-wards down the Irish Sea, or took the southerly route around England, then north-wards up the Irish Sea.  Either direction, would added significantly to the distance covered.


Date Details Location / Direction Distance Duration
19 Jun 2017 Ringed as a Chick by Ruben Fijn Scheelhoek, Haringvliet Inlet, SW Holland 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
12 Jul 2017 Spotted by Steve Holliday Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland, England 525 kms / 326 miles (NW) 0y  0m  23d
30 Jul 2017 Spotted by Mardik Leopold De Koog, Texel, N Holland 151 kms / 94 miles (NNE) 0y  1m  11d
21 Aug 2017 Spotted by Gareth Platt Donaghadee, Co. Down, Northern Ireland 713 kms / 443 miles (NW) 0y  2m  2d
Details for Sandwich Tern    28.C  

Map Showing Sites Mentioned Above

My thanks go to Ewan and Mardik for their assistance and also to Ruben, for supplying the details on these young terns.

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      The People's Park, Ballymena       
I have been visiting my local park quite often of late.  For some reason, gull numbers have been fairly low or non existent, through the months of July and August.  In past autumn's, Black-headed Gull numbers, would frequently reach 100 to 150 birds, these mainly being juveniles.  The park's lake, often seems like a nursery for these young gulls.

Around 50 Black-headed Gulls, were present, during my visit on Friday the 1st September.  Luring these with bread, onto the pebble covered shore of the lake, I noticed a 'Black Darvic'.  Straight away, I thought to myself, that this was the youngster from last winter, though I could'nt mind it's ring number.

Zooming in with my camera, my suspicions were correct, it was   2AXV , sporting it's near adult plumage.  Ringed as a chick in June 2016, at Marsh Lane Nature Reserve, near Coventry, England, I first spotted   2AXV , at the People's Park, on the 23rd October 2016 (Read).  During the winter, I recorded   2AXV , on 10 occasions, with the last sighting being made on the 11th March 2017.  Great, to see it again, alive and well.  Hopefully, it will stay here until next spring.

Black-headed Gull  -    2AXV   -  The People's Park, Ballymena, Co. Antrim  (01 Sep 2017)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 7th June 2016, at Marsh Lane NR, nr Coventry, England)

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

From Cameron Moore...


      From Cameron Moore       
Fellow birdwatcher Cameron Moore, has been busy reading rings in his local village of Whitehead, which is situated on the east coast of County Antrim, between the town of Larne and the City of Belfast.  He has kindly shared his sightings, which are being included here, as a permanent record of his efforts in 'Ring Reading'.  My thanks to Cameron for this and hopefully, there are more to come.

To be continued... (Most Ringing details have now arrived and the full re-sightings history for each bird is included.  I still have to work out distances and directions for some of these and they will be added in due course)



Common Tern  -     PFV   -  Whitehead, Co. Antrim  (02 Aug 2017)
(Photo Taken by Cameron Moore)

Date Details Location Distance / Direction Duration
26 Aug 2015 Ringed as an Adult (U) by Dublin Bay Birds Project Sandymount Strand, Co. Dublin, Rep. of Ireland 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
10 Jul 2016 Spotted by Gareth Platt Glynn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland 168 kms / 104 miles (NNE) 0y  10m  14d
02 Aug 2017 Spotted by Cameron Moore Whitehead, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland 161 kms / 100 miles (NNE) 1y  11m  7d

I spotted   PFV  on a couple of occasions in 2016, before I was able to read the code on it's 'colour-ring'.  It most likely bred on Blue Circle Island, on Larne Lough, which is very close to the village of Glynn.  Although I spotted a Common Tern this summer at Glynn, I was not able to capture the code, but it probably was   PFV .  Cameron's post breeding sighting at Whitehead, is only a few kilometres away from Larne Lough.

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Common Tern  -    4.38   -  Whitehead, Co. Antrim  (21 Aug 2017)
(Photo Taken by Cameron Moore)

Date Details Location Distance Duration
30 Jul 2015 Ringed as a Chick by The Tees Ringing Group Saltholme, Teesmouth, England 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
24 Aug 2015 Spotted by E.M. Seal Sands, Teesmouth, England 4 kms / 2 miles (ENE) 0y  0m  25d
07 Sep 2015 Spotted by C.J. Seal Sands, Teesmouth, England 4 kms / 2 miles (ENE) 0y  1m  8d
21 Aug 2017 Spotted by Cameron Moore Whitehead, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland 288 kms / 179 miles (W) 2y  0m  22d

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Sandwich Tern  -    EFH   -  Whitehead, Co. Antrim  (21 Aug 2017)
(Photo Taken by Cameron Moore)

Date Details Location Distance Duration
21 Jul 2011 Ringed as an Adult (U) by The Grampian Ringing Group Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
26 Aug 2013 Spotted by Richard Somercocks Findhorn Bay, Morayshire, Scotland 105 kms / 65 miles ( ) 2y  1m  5d
30 May 2014 Spotted by Chris Redfern Inner Farne Island, Northumberland, England 190 kms / 118 miles ( ) 2y  10m  9d
08 Aug 2014 Spotted by D. Allan & A. Barker Port Seton, Morayshire, Scotland 160 kms / 99 miles ( ) 3y  0m  18d
17 May 2015 Spotted by Chris Redfern Inner Farne Island, Northumberland, England 190 kms / 118 miles ( ) 3y  9m  26d
23 May 2015 Spotted by Chris Redfern Inner Farne Island, Northumberland, England 190 kms / 118 miles ( ) 3y  10m  2d
04 Sep 2016 Spotted by G.B. Troon Beach (S), Ayrshire, Scotland 257 kms / 159 miles ( ) 5y  1m  14d
07 Sep 2016 Spotted by Keith Hoey Stevenston Point, Ayrshire, Scotland 253 kms / 157 miles ( ) 5y  1m  17d
21 Aug 2017 Spotted by Cameron Moore Whitehead, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland 367 kms / 228 miles ( ) 6y  1m  0d

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Black-headed Gull  (Juvenile)  -    2CLV   -  Whitehead, Co. Antrim  (28 Aug 2017)
(Photo Taken by Cameron Moore)

Date Details Location Distance Duration
2017 Ringed as a Chick by Adam McClure (Waiting on Ringing Details) 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
28 Aug 2017 Spotted by Cameron Moore Whitehead, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland ? kms / ? miles (?) ?y  ?m  ?d

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Juvenile Black-headed Gull  -    2BP2   -  Whitehead, Co. Antrim  (28 Aug 2017)
(Photo Taken by Cameron Moore)

Date Details Location Distance Duration
2017 Ringed as a Chick by The Clyde Ringing Group (Waiting on Ringing Details) 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
28 Aug 2017 Spotted by Cameron Moore Whitehead, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland ? kms / ? miles (?) ?y  ?m  ?d

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Sandwich Tern  -    EPZ   -  Whitehead, Co. Antrim  (29 Aug 2017)
(Photo Taken by Cameron Moore)

Date Details Location Distance Duration
20 Jun 2000 Ringed as a Chick by The Grampian Ringing Group Forvie NNR, Aberdeenshire, Scotland 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
09 May 2014 Controlled by Grampian Ringing Group Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 13y  10m  19d
13 Jun 2014 Spotted by The Grampian Ringing Group Forvie NNR, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 13y  11m  24d
16 Jun 2014 Spotted by The Grampian Ringing Group Forvie NNR, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 13y  11m  27d
17 Jul 2014 Spotted by Raymond Duncan Girdleness, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 14y  0m  27d
20 Jun 2015 Spotted by Moray Souter Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 15y  0m  0d
13 Jul 2015 Spotted by Moray Souter Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 15y  0m  23d
15 Jul 2015 Spotted by Moray Souter Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 15y  0m  25d
16 Jul 2015 Spotted by Moray Souter Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 15y  0m  26d
17 Jul 2015 Spotted by Moray Souter Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 15y  0m  27d
18 Jul 2015 Spotted by Moray Souter Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 15y  0m  28d
14 Jul 2016 Spotted by Moray Souter Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 16y  0m  24d
19 Jun 2017 Spotted by The Grampian Ringing Group Forvie NNR, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 16y  11m  30d
03 Jul 2017 Spotted by Moray Souter Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland  kms /  miles ( ) 17y  0m  13d
29 Aug 2017 Spotted by Cameron Moore Whitehead, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland  kms /  miles ( ) 17y  2m  9d

This tern is now getting on in years.  The colour-ring was probably fitted when the tern was controlled (captured) in 2014.  The addition of the ring, demonstrates their use, enabling re-sightings.

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Sandwich Tern  -    EAF   -  Whitehead, Co. Antrim  (29 Aug 2017)
(Photo Taken by Cameron Moore)

Date Details Location Distance Duration
13 Jun 2014 Ringed as a Chick by The Grampian Ringing Group Forvie NNR, Aberdeenshire, Scotland 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
16 Aug 2014 Spotted by Richard Somercocks Findhorn Bay, Morayshire, Scotland  105 kms /  65 miles ( ) 0y  2m  3d
17 Aug 2014 Spotted by Richard Somercocks Findhorn Bay, Morayshire, Scotland  105 kms /  65 miles ( ) 0y  2m  4d
05 Sep 2014 Spotted by Richard Somercocks Findhorn Bay, Morayshire, Scotland  105 kms /  65 miles ( ) 0y  2m  23d
19 Feb 2016 Spotted by Mark Booman Mile 4 Saltworks, nr Swakopmund, Namibia  8,979 kms /  5,579 miles ( ) 1y  8m  6d
03 Nov 2016 Spotted by Mark Booman Mile 4 Saltworks, nr Swakopmund, Namibia  8,979 kms /  5,579 miles ( ) 2y  4m  21d
02 Jan 2017 Spotted by Mark Booman Mile 4 Saltworks, nr Swakopmund, Namibia  8,979 kms /  5,579 miles ( ) 2y  6m  20d
04 Jan 2017 Spotted by Mark Booman Mile 4 Saltworks, nr Swakopmund, Namibia  8,979 kms /  5,579 miles ( ) 2y  6m  22d
29 Aug 2017 Spotted by Cameron Moore Whitehead, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland  367 kms /  228 miles ( ) 3y  2m  16d

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Sandwich Tern  (Juvenile)  -    KBT   -  Whitehead, Co. Antrim  (29 Aug 2017)
(Photo Taken by Cameron Moore)

Date Details Location Distance Duration
21 Jun 2017 Ringed as a Chick by Tony Murray  Lady's Island Lake, Co. Wexford, Rep. of Ireland 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
29 Aug 2017 Spotted by Cameron Moore Whitehead, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland  kms /  miles ( ) 0y  2m  8d

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White T35J Returns...


      Black-headed Gulls At Antrim Marina - Sunday 27th August 2017       
Today, saw the fourth of my weekly winter visits to Antrim Marina.  A fairly mild day, was probably the reason for low numbers of Black-headed Gulls.  One again, with the arrival of the trainee canoeists, a little later than normal (11.20), few gulls remained at the Marina.

My 'winter list', of 'colour-ringed' gulls, stood at 15, after my first three visits.  Among the 8 gulls recorded today, saw the return of the Lithuanian-rung - White T35J.  This bird had me wondering last winter, as she was absent after the 22nd January 2017.  Normally departing in March, I thought something serious may have happened.  Now that she's back, I know she's ok.  My 'winter list', now increases to 16 'colour-ringed' BHGs.


Black-headed Gulls  Sighted on Sunday 27th August 2017
 2ADJ   2AAT   2CJT   2ABK   2AAF   T35J   2ABL   2AAA 


The Absentees
 2AAK   2AAC   2ABN   2ABS   2AAB   2AAN   2ABF   2BRA 

I've added a table, which shows the first and last known dates, of T35J's appearances and departures at the Marina each winter.

Black-headed Gull  -  Lithuania  (White) T35J  -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (27 Aug 2017)


Date Details Location
03 Jun 2006 Ringed as a Chick Kretuonas, Lithuania.
22 Mar 2011 Re-Ringed by Szymon Bzoma Pomorskie, Poland. (Darvic Ring also Fitted)
05 Apr 2012 Ring Read by D. Norkunas Utena-Daunisko, Lithuania.
12 Oct 2012 Ring Read by Adam D. McClure Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
02 Jan 2013 Ring Read by Neville D. McKee Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
21 Sep 2013 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
16 Feb 2014 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
07 Sep 2014 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
15 Mar 2015 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
09 Aug 2015 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
13 Mar 2016 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
29 Jul 2016 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
22 Jan 2017 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.
27 Aug 2017 Ring Read by Gareth D.A. Platt Antrim Marina, Antrim Town, Northern Ireland.

Other Birds
The young Herring Gull, was not put off by anything happening around the Marina.  Even the canoeists, did not deter this bird.  One of it's parents arrived at 10.20, giving it a good feed.  10 minutes later, the adult flew off and did not reappear before I departed at 1pm.  One Lesser Black-backed Gull and a single Common Gull, put in brief appearances, but were not too fond with the canoeists about.

The pair of Mute Swans, along with their 5 cygnets, even headed off to the Lough at 11.40.  Although quite tolerant, even they got fed up with the trainees.  At midday, I saw a swan swimming in from the Lough, which I thought might be the male, but this one turned out to be   W34158 .  This was the first swan that I've seen here, barring the pair with their cygnets, since late May.  My last sighting of   W34158 , was made on the 29th May 2017 and in the weeks up to that date, around 20 to 30 swans would have been present.

Mallard numbers, were once again quite high, with around 80 birds present throughout my four hour visit.  Most of them were checked for rings, but still no joy.

Other species, included 3 Hooded Crows, 12 Jackdaws, 2 Magpies, 1 Rook and 3 Grey Wagtails.  During my last three visits to the Marina, I often heard a young Buzzard calling from the woodland opposite.  I spotted it briefly today, flying just above the trees.

Elim Church and Antrim KFC
On leaving the Marina, I checked both the Elim Church at Parkhall and the KFC car park for BHGs.  Only a single adult, was perched on the roof of the church.  23 Black-headed Gulls, including three juveniles, were present at KFC, but there was still no sign of the Norwegian   JK35 .

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      Whitehouse Lagoon - Sunday 27th August 2017       
On completion of my visit to Antrim, I only had time to pay a quick visit to Whitehouse Lagoon.  Knowing there was an incoming tide, I thought I might stand a good chance of reading any rings, as the incoming water would push the birds towards me.

However, as the tide came in, the gulls and waders, actually started departing, rather than moving towards me.  Large numbers of Black-tailed Godwits, moved off to the rocky shoreline on the far side of the Lagoon, which scuppered an idea of checking these for 'colour-rings'.

Over one hundred Oystercatchers, were closer to me and checked for rings, but the only one seen was the Icelandic bird (GW-GfN, which was recorded back on my previous visit.

No sign of the Polish Black-headed Gull - White T56W, but I did spot two of Adam's study birds.  The first of these, was   2BNA , my second sighting of this gull, which  I spotted here on the 19th October 2016.  At that time, this was a first sighting of the gull, since being ringed as a chick in July 2013, on Blue Circle Island, in Larne Lough (20 kms to the north-east).  I reported the sighting to Adam and await the latest file on the gull, to see if their have been any further sightings since October 2016.

Black-headed Gull  -    2BNA   -  Whitehouse Lagoon, Co. Antrim  (27 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 1st July 2013, at Blue Circle Island, Larne Lough, Co. Antrim)

I had to wait patiently, to read the ring of the second Black-headed Gull.  Standing, with it's right leg obscuring the code, I eventually managed to get photos.  I thought, I might miss out on this one, as the gull was a long way off.  My patience paid off, reading   2AFP , which was a first sighting for me.  I've informed Adam, about this one and now await it's details.

Black-headed Gull  -    2AFD   -  Whitehouse Lagoon, Co. Antrim  (27 Aug 2017)
(Waiting on Ringing Details)

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