18 November 2021

Foreign feel to some resightings

Having just received information back on most of the foreign-ringed birds that we've been seeing locally over the last week or so, we thought it'd be interesting to map them. This gives a really good idea of just where some of our wintering birds come from, of all sorts of species.

The latest batch of reports included:

  • Lesser Black-backed Gull from Portugal
  • Great Black-backed Gulls from Channel Islands and Wales
  • Mediterranean Gulls from Belgium and Netherlands
  • Black-headed Gull from Poland
  • Curlew from Netherlands
  • Cormorant from Ireland

Portuguese Lesser Black-back

Welsh Great Black-back

Dutch Med Gull

Polish Black-headed Gull

14 November 2021

Big gulls from points south

On the back of the Black-headed Gulls from earlier in the week (which all came from points east), this time it's Black-backed Gulls of interest (from points south). Of particular note today were two Great Black-backed Gulls sat close to each other on the island at Gothian Sands, Gwithian.

Yellow 2AA1 is a bird ringed as a chick on Herm, Channel Islands in 2013. It was first seen at Dawlish Warren in March 2014 before becoming a regular in Cornwall from January 2015.

Conversely, L:FZ3 is one of our own, ringed as a chick on Mullion Island earlier in 2021. So far it's the only of of this year's chicks to be seen abroad, seen on a beach in Guernesy on 18th September.

Incredibly though, it was back in Cornwall today, at Gothian Sands sat alongside 2AA1.

The other Black-back from the south was a Lesser seen on Hayle estuary. This is a Portuguese-ringed bird from a rehabilitation project run by RIAS.

13 November 2021

Winter is here and the gulls are coming

 It's always a good sign that winter must be here when we start seeing returning gulls from elsewhere. We know these aren't local birds as many are ringed, so it's just a case of getting out there and reading some rings and colour rings.

Yellow 2PRB was ringed as an adult at Pitsea Landfill, Essex in March 2016
and this is the third winter it's been seen in Cornwall

In just a couple of days this week, we've managed to read several metal rings and also seen some regular colour-ringed birds at Swanpool, Mylor Creek and Stithians Reservoir. The map below shows where some of the British-ringed birds originate from, most of which were ringed as chicks (from as long ago as 2013). We also recorded a bird ringed as an adult in Dorset in 2011, but still have a long way to go to beat the national longevity record of 32 years!

We're also waiting on details of a Belgian-ringed bird which will add another nice dot to the map, along with the regular Danish-ringed bird at Helston Boating Lake. So if you are lucky enough to see a common-or-garden gull wearing a colour ring do get in touch!

Danish-ringed White 8LZ at Helston Boating Lake