23 June 2014

Another poor CES visit and pasty-snatching gulls

A couple of us did the postponed CES this morning at Gunwalloe and despite the mud, sweat and much cursing, managed a paltry 23 birds. This doesn't exactly compare well with the 132 bids on the same visit in 2011, but oddly does beat the nine birds from last year. Most of this morning's catch were Reed Warblers (16, including two birds ringed in 2011), but a juvenile Whitethroat and an adult Swallow added a bit of interest. Finally (!!) we also caught our first Cetti's Warbler of the year; a bird we originally ringed as an adult back in 2011 and not recaught since. Having said that, one of the 2011 Reed Warblers hadn't been caught since ringing either...

On the gull front, last week was a bit manic, variously ringing 'pasty-snatching' gulls in St Ives (10 adults), rooftop gulls in Falmouth (nine chicks) and Great Black-backed Gulls on both Mullion Island (16 chicks) and Looe Island (74 chicks). The latter isn't our project, but read more about it on the Tamar Wildlife site. All of these gulls also received shiny new colour rings, so ones to keep an eye for in the future.

Blue W:186, caught with the help of an ice cream, turned out to be the
regular bird that holds territory at Rod's Deckchairs in St Ives
Sunny day on Mullion Island ringing gull chicks (Daisy Salmon)

We've also just seen the final county ringing totals on the BTO's online ringing report and it's interesting to compare with group totals. This is more a reflection of the lack of ringers in Cornwall, but in 2013 the group ringed ALL of the Storm Petrel (235), Cormorant (11), Shag (6), Kittiwake (10), Dipper (3), Stonechat (15), Wheatear (3) and Linnet (45) ringed in the county! Blowing our own trumpet a bit, we also ringed more than 90% of Meadow Pipit (392), Goldfinch (314) and Reed Bunting (48) in the county. So again a big thanks to everyone who helped out or let us ring on their land in 2013.

At the county level, more Great Black-backed Gulls (80) and Jackdaws (480) were ringed in Cornwall in 2013 than any other county, withe other notable totals for Rook (62, beaten only by Sussex) and Yellow-browed Warbler (19), losing out to the Northern Isles: Orkney (29) and Shetland (31).

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