18 July 2015

Foreign gulls and legless gulls

The blog has been a bit quiet recently, but that's mainly due to a long overdue holiday in Turkey! But I came back to a bit of a flurry of gull reports, all of which were quite interesting...

The first two were a bit sad, as Herring Gull W:062 appears to have lost a leg! It was seen with both legs intact in amongst the thousand other gulls in Cadgwith Bay in January, so has obviously suffered a mishap since then. It was reported from Swanpool, having been ringed locally in Falmouth in 2014.

We also heard that W:197 from St Ives had been found with a broken wing and broken leg in St Ives, so had to be euthanased by a local vet. Better news came in the form of W:060, originally ringed on Falmouth High Street, which is now also on it's holidays, being seen in France. This is the first foreign sighting of one of our Herring Gulls, so was great news!

We've also only ever had one previous foreign sighting of one of our Great Black-backed Gulls, so receiving two in a week was a surprise. Our only other foreign sighting was L:BF8, ringed in Falmouth and seen in France in October 2014, and it apparently liked France as it was reported from a different site again at the start of May (delayed as reported by letter). Also heading south was L:BJ3, ringed on Mullion Island in 2014 and seen at Lizard Point twice in August 2014. It was seen on Chouet Landfill, Guernsey on 13th July and it's about time one of our birds made it to the Channel Islands.

Apart from this, since the last blog update we've been doing some ringing, so below are a few highlights in the form of pretty pics!

It was another year of low productivity for our Great Black-backed Gulls on Mullion Island, with just nine chicks making it to an old enough age to colour-ringed
Our Kittiwakes have been doing slightly better, with 25 chicks and 15 adults now ringed at Trewavas Head
It's not been such a good year for resightings of French-ringed birds though, with just five birds seen. This bird was ringed at Ponte du Raz, France in 2002 and has been seen at Trewavas Head in 2012 and 2015.
This is also a French bird, ringed as a chick in 2007 and seen for the first time at Trewavas Head this year. Caught inadvertently, we noticed that the colour rings (in particular yellow) were starting to fade so we replaced them with one of our numbered rings.
Away from seabirds, we are also continuing to ring rehabilitated owls at the Screech Owl Sanctuary, these being some of the eight young Tawny Owls ringed recently.

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