26 October 2014

23D8 returns

It's that time of year when we should be out catching migrants, but it's also the time of year when the weather is never calm enough to open nets. So it's also the time to await the arrival of some of our returning winter birds, including some real creatures of habit. One such regular is 23D8 that we've blogged about before (see here).

Breeding in its natal colony at Hosehill Lake, Berkshire, 23D8 is a regular winter visitor to Helston Boating Lake, but in recent years has paused briefly on the Camel estuary en route to Helston. This winter it arrived back bang on cue on 24th October, and for once we thought it had slipped through the Camel estuary unnoticed, but having just heard back from the ringer, that's apparently not the case!

23D8, third from the right (honestly!), back on bread-stealing duty
Over the last few years, 23D8's movements can be summarised as...
  • last seen in Berkshire June 2012
  • Camel estuary 4th October 2012
  • Helston Boating Lake 21st October 2012 (to 1st March 2013)
  • back in Berkshire by 19th March 2013 (last seen 2nd July 2013)
  • Camel estuary 22nd July 2013 (and again 24th August)
  • Helston Boating Lake 17th October 2013 (to 16th February 2014)
  • back in Berkshire 9th March 2014 (last seen 4th June 2014)
  • Camel estuary 23rd June 2014 (and again 3rd October 2014)
  • Helston Boating Lake 24th October 2014
Pretty much the only other ringing we've managed recently was this very rusty rehabilitated Tawny Owl ringed at the Screech Owl Sanctuary last week. This is part of a long-term project monitoring the success of their rehab programme.

21 October 2014

Urban gull swaps Falmouth for France

It's been a while since we've blogged, but the weather's not been conducive to much ringing, and apart from a few Meadow Pipits and Linnets at The Lizard and a few more PIT-tagged tits, all's been quiet.

But today we received interesting news of one of our Great Black-backed Gulls from Falmouth, ringed in addition to the birds on Mullion Island. In 2013 we ringed three chicks on the roof of the Falmouth Marine School, but these then disappeared. We presumed they'd stay locally, but then several of the Herring Gulls ringed in the town have wandered, so perhaps Great Black-backs are likely to wander further.

But on 12th October, L:BF8 was seen at Baie de Lampaul on Ile d'Ouessant in western France. We know that birds from Looe Island will wander quite widely into France, but this is the first of our own birds (from Falmouth or Mullion Island) that has been seen abroad.

Thanks to Benjamin Griard for reporting this bird and it'll be interesting to see if it stays around the island over the winter.