Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Double Dutch...

I could not get to Antrim Marina on Sunday morning, so I went on Monday morning instead.  By the time I was free to go anywhere on Sunday, I decided to cover the east coast of County Antrim, starting at Carnlough, finishing at Glynn, just south of Larne.  The only ring spotted was at Sandy Bay, Larne, where I spotted an 'Orange Darvic', on a Black-headed Gull.  When I went to take photos, to obtain the code, my camera gave a message 'No Card'.  Doohhh!!!, the card was at home, still in my laptop.

After Monday's visit to Antrim Marina, I went on down to Belfast (Kinnegar Beach) and the County Down coast, covering Groomsport to Millisle.  The only place where I recorded any 'ringed' birds, was at Donaghadee, where I spotted 5 birds which were new sightings for me.

Yesterday (Tuesday), I was back on the east Antrim coast, this time, moving on southwards from Glynn, covering Whitehead to Whitehouse Lagoon.  During Tuesday night / Wednesday morning (today), Northern Ireland was hit with thunder storms and torrential flooding in some parts.  At home, our house, shuddered and windows rattled, after a flash of lightening was instantly followed by an almighty blast of thunder.

A bright flash of light was experienced inside our house and the internet hub stopped working.  Although, the hub is up and running again now, we are experiencing extremely slow streaming, which is not helping me with this post.  I'll publish the post in sections, as I cannot do it all in one go.  As can be seen below, I'll have quite a bit of info to add.

      Black-headed Gulls At Antrim Marina - Monday 21st August 2017       

Black-headed Gulls at Antrim Marina  -  Monday 21st August
 2AAB   2AAF   2AAC   2ADJ   2AAN   2ABK   2AAK 
 2ABL   2CJT   2ABS   2ABN   2ABF   2AAT   2AAA 

The only Absentee

Black-headed Gull  -    2AAA   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (21 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Adult Male, on the 12th November 2012, at Antrim Marina)

Black-headed Gull  -    2ABF   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (21 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Adult Male, on the 20th January 2013, at Antrim Marina)

Black-headed Gull  -    2CJT   -  Antrim Marina, Co. Antrim  (21 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Juvenile, on the 4th December 2016, at Antrim Marina)

Other Birds

      Ringing Details Received       
On Thursday last week (17th Aug), I finally received the ringing details of an immature Common Gull, which I spotted on the beach at Millisle, County Down, just over a month ago.  With around 15 'metal-rung' Common Gulls present that day, I targeted an immature, as the others were all full adults.  To my delight, my bird, turned out to be Norwegian.  

Common Gull  -  Norway    5182366   -  Millisle, Co. Down  (14th July 2017)

Date Details Location Distance Duration
09 Jul 2016 Ringed as a Chick by H.I. Hansen Norsk Hydro, Karm√ły Island, Norway 0 kms / 0 miles 0y  0m  0d
14 Jul 2017 Spotted by Gareth Platt Millisle Beach, Co. Down, Northern Ireland 835 kms / 518 miles (SW) 1y  0m  5d


      Monday 21st August 2017       

Sandwich Tern  -  White  EBN  -  Donaghadee, Co. Down  (21 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Adult, on the 16th August 2010, on the Ythan Estuary, Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

Juvenile Sandwich Tern  -  Holland    21.C   -  Donaghadee, Co. Down  (21 Aug 2017)
(Waiting on Ringing Details)

Juvenile Sandwich Tern  -  Holland    28.C   -  Donaghadee, Co. Down  (21 Aug 2017)
(Waiting on Ringing Details)

Moving on, I drove into Donaghadee and parked in the spacious car park, close to the Community Centre.  I've had a bit of success, in reading new rings here lately and today produced another two new sightings for me.

First, was a Herring Gull -   4J:W .  This bird is from a new study being carried out on the Copeland Islands.  As I have the ringing data - supplied by Shane Wolsey for the Herring Gulls, up to 2015, I was able to check on the ringing date, which was the 6th May 2015.  I have informed Adam McClure, about my sighting, as he is the ringing co-ordinator for the Copeland Islands.  As yet, I have not heard back from Adam, so I do not know whether this is a first re-sighting.

Herring Gull  -    4J:W   -  Donaghadee Community Centre Car Park, Co. Down  (21 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Breeding Adult, on the 6th May 2015, on the Copeland Islands, Co. Down)

The second bird, a Common Gull, bearing a 'Blue Darvic', presented me with a problem - the code could not be read.  The ring, is so badly worn, that it is now appearing to be more white, than blue.  My only solution here, was to try and lure this extremely shy gull towards me with bread and get photos of it's 'metal-ring'.

Most of the pictures were useless.  With only three photos that were readable, I managed to get the numbers   38433 , but niether of the two letters preceeding it.  Returning home, I checked with the ringing details given to me by Shane Wolsey, to discover the gull was ringed -   EX38433  and the Darvic should have read -   2HTT .

This is the same gull spotted here last year (30th May 2016), by Suzanne Belshaw.  As far as I'm aware, these are the only two sightings of this gull since it was ringed as a chick in 2011.  The duration is now 6 years, 2 months and 19 days.  The Copelands lie, 6 kms / 3 miles to the east.

I've added the photo taken by Suzanne and this highlights just how much the 'colour-ring' has deteriorated, during the past year.  

Common Gull  -    2HTT     EX38433   -  Donaghadee Community Centre Car Park, Co. Down (21 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 2nd June 2011, on the Copeland Islands, Co. Down)

Common Gull  -    2HTT   -  Donaghadee Community Centre Car Park, Co. Down  (30 May 2016)
(Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Belshaw)


      Tuesday 22nd August 2017       



Black-headed Gull  -    2ADB   -  Carrickfergus Harbour, Co. Antrim  (22 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as an Adult Male, on the 25th November 2013, at Carrickfergus Harbour)

Female Mandarin Duck  -  Carrickfergus Leisure Centre, Co. Antrim  (22 Aug 2017)



Common Gull  -    2AIP   -  Whiteabbey Shoreline, Co. Antrim  (22 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as a Chick, on the 11th June 2012, on the Copeland Islands, Co. Down)

Whitehouse Lagoon

Oystercatcher  -  GW-GfN (Flag Missing)  -  Whitehouse Lagoon, Co. Antrim  (22 Aug 2017)
(Ringed as an Un-sexed Breeding Adult, on the 5th June 2015, Efranes, Iceland)

Black-headed Gull  -  White  T56W  -  Whitehouse Lagoon, Co. Antrim  (22 Jul 2017)
(Ringed as a 2nd Calendar Year, on the 16th June 2012, at the Odra Reservoir, Bielinek, Poland)

RSPB's WoW Reserve, Belfast
My final stop of the day, was at the Window on Wildlide Reserve, run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.  Here, I spent around two hours observing Terns from Hide Two.  I was hoping that one with a colour-ring would appear, but had no joy.  Only Common Terns were present, a couple of these bearing 'metal-rings'.  Apparently, a Black Tern, has been present over the last couple of days, but it never showed up while I was in the hide.  I'm still waiting to observe my first 'colour-ringed' Tern here.