16 May 2015

Guernsey tip gulls

It's that time of year again when a few members of the ringing group head over to Guernsey to help out with the cannon-netting and colour-ringing of gulls on the tip there. This is probably the final year of tip trips, which have been run by Paul Veron and North Thames Gull Group. For more info on the project, check out the video from a couple of years ago:

Over the week we've caught just over 1,400 gulls, most of which were Herring Gulls, but also good numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a few other odds and sods. So below are just a few pics from the trip, perhaps useful for people to get to grips with ageing these birds.
A variety of ages of Herring Gull awaiting extraction
The Guernsey gull team for 2015
Herring Gull
First-summer bird (age code 5): no grey on the mantle and uniformly dark secondaries
Second-summer bird (age code 7): grey on the mantle and some mottling on the secondaries
Third-summer bird (age code 9): grey coming through on the wing coverts and adult-type primaries moulting in
Fourth-summer bird or older (age code 8i): mostly adult-type primaries and secondaries, with some remnants of immature plumage
Lesser Black-backed Gull 
First-summer bird (age code 5)
First-summer bird (right) and second-summer bird (left)
Second-summer bird (age code 7)
Third-summer bird (age code 9)
Yellow-legged Gull
We were lucky enough to also catch a Yellow-legged Gull; only the third we've caught on the tip. This second-summer bird can be identified by the darker grey mantle, more orange orbital ring (around the eye), a very deep long bill and a much more delineated white rump.


1 comment:

  1. It's been great to see the ages of the gulls like this. Many young birds are taking a rest on the beach by the waters edge now that the dog ban is in place for the summer. It's a delight for me to walk along observing them and now I can age them too. Many thanks.