Sunday, 25 March 2012

Recent Gull Sightings

The frustratingly mild winter we've has this year has meant that gulls haven't been very hungry, making catching them quite challenging. However, some interesting sightings have come from the birds we've managed to ring. We had good numbers of northern Argentatus Herring Gulls about at the beginning of the year. Distinctively pale plumaged first winter Herring Gull T:610 (above), which was ringed at Peterhead Harbour on 8th January, confirmed its Scandinavian roots when it was seen and photographed by Arnt Kvinnesland at Ferkingstad, Karmoy, Norway (below) on the 14th March.

The past few months we've also had lots of sightings from the Herring Gulls we ringed during the summer. Most of these have been around North East Scotland, but we've have had several birds travel further south, mostly to England, and recently one to Ouddorp in the Netherlands. A map of our long distance Herring Gull movements is below. We are now down to a 1 in 4 sighting
rate overall.

Glaucous Gull T:193, ringed last August at the Ugie Estuary, Peterhead (below with a satisfied Calum) which was then seen at Boldon Flats, Durham in Decemeber, has been sighted again several times across England.

It was seen at Newburn Sewer, Seaton Carew on 15th January, and then it went down to Cotham Landfill Site, Nottinghamshire for a couple of weeks from the 18th February (photographed below by Nick Crouch). It was next seen for a few days at Ogston Reservoir, Derbyshire from the 8th March. It then went north again, and was at Longnewton Reservoir, Cleveland on the 24th and 25th March.

It will be interesting to to see where it turns up next. Please look out for it and any other colour ringed gulls, send sightings to All our gulls have yellow rings with the letter T followed by a colon and three numbers.

A big thank you to all observers and photographers.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Gentlemen's Ringing Group

Whilst trying to think where to take some of the more office-based staff from RSPB Aberdeen out to see some birds in the hand and a bit of ringing, the first place that came to my mind was the Gentlemen Ringers of Craibstone.

Alastair, Brian, Walter and others are well known for their good ringing, butteries and hot tea. And they made special efforts for us with jackets and ties! It wasn't just about how you fold a hankercheif though as we caught a few birds too, inlcuding this rather white-headed long tailed tit after we left.
Thanks to Ann for taking the photographs (although we were disappointed you weren't in a cocktail dress Ann!) and to all for putting on such a good ringing demo.