Friday, 3 December 2010

Great gulls!

The snow in Aberdeen has halted some of the waxwing chasing in the last week or two. Out in Westhill we've returned to our favourite garden ringing of gulls. A couple of miss-fires with a whoosh net has meant a change in tactics so we are now using a classic clap net as that seems to work better in the 20in of snow we have in our garden.
In the last few days we have caught over 60 gulls with another 10 by the young lads in Peterculter. We've been weighing all of the birds and they seem to be stable with about 10% of birds being significantly below weight.

Star birds have been a juv Black headed Gull British control and a Stavanger Common Gull - taking our tally to four for our garden in the two years we have lived here!

The most interesting bird was a common gull we rang yesterday morning in Westhill and was caught less than 2 hours later in Peterculter by Euan and Calum - a distance of 4.2km as the gull flies. This was the lightest bird we have caught in the garden so it was maybe that which made it travel further for food.

Gulls number have decreased in Westhill as birds have probably headed into town looking for food where there's less snow. But we will try again tomorrow with our reduced bread from Tesco!

Ewan and Jenny

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