Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Another Norwegian Gull

Just days after we caught our fantastic white darvic common gull we caught another Norwegian ringed bird in our Westhill garden. This one wasn't colour-ringed so we wait to hear where its from.

Yes Ewan that makes two foreign controls in a week!

With the snow gone the Aberdeen gulls are back to patrolling the local schools for their lunch and aren't interested in bread in gardens any more.

Ewan & Jenny

An oystercatcher to Ireland

We have about 200 pairs of oystercatchers nesting on flat, gravel covered roofs in Aberdeen; the largest such population in Europe. Alistair Duncan and other have been putting Darvics on them since 1996 and have had a number of sightings from across the UK including north west England, north and south Wales.

N57 was ringed in Aberdeen on 31 May 2007 as a chick at the cricket club. On the first day of the 2010 the bird was seen just outside Dungarvan town, County Waterford, Ireland by Mícheál Cowming. This is only the second or third sighting from southern Ireland so is great news. The only roof nesting pair in Ireland that we know of is in Cork.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


It’s been a few months since Danny kindly set up the GRG blog, so we thought it was about time that something was posted on it!

With the amazing snowfall we have had it has given us the opportunity to do some winter gull ringing – a GRG speciality. So far we have had reasonable success and a few failures, mainly due to the depth of snow. A total of 9 herring gulls, 5 black-headed gulls, 80 common gulls and 1 rook have been caught. Amongst these there have been a small number of interesting recoveries, some of which we have already found out ringing details.

The first ringing details we received were of a GRG bird that was ringed at Culterty field station in Newburgh by Paul Doyle on 30/6/1995 as a chick and captured on 2/1/2010 in the park outside Skitts’ house in Newburgh with two other birds. Nice to see an older bird and one that was reared in the region too.

Over in Westhill we have had the lion’s share of the success with 5 Herring gulls, 2 black-headed gulls, 78 common gulls and a rook caught in our wee garden with Tesco reduced counter bread. This has included an old GRG bird and a nice Norwegian ringed and colour-ringed bird. The GRG bird was ringed at the Don mouth on 25/2/2001. We were able to get the history of the Norwegian bird within a few hours on a Norwegian colour ringing website. The bird had been ringed as an adult male in Tromso on 23/4/2004, was sighted twice that June at the same site, again in June 2005, July 2007 and then nothing until it turned up in a catch of 27 gulls in the garden on 6/1/2010. The distance from Tromso to Westhill is 1727km and it was 2084 days since it was originally ringed!

Ewan & Jenny