Monday, 13 February 2012

When a Lithuanian ringed gull, becomes a British ringed gull!

The week just gone has been a rather busy one with over 200 birds captured, consisting of 160 new & the rest being recaptures and controls. With the cold weather still hanging around, and most ponds & lakes still frozen over - the bulk of the weekends ringing mainly focussed on catching Coot & Black-headed Gulls. Most of our time was spent at Southport Marine Lake catching both species & by the end of the weekend we had successfully bagged 48 new Coot & 17 Black-headed Gulls.


There were some rather interesting captures of the latter species, in that Ciaran managed to catch a Norwegian ringed bird (below) that was already sporting a darvic ring (more on this later!) but also a Lithuanian metal ringed bird was also caught! This being the first foreign ringed bird now sporting one of our colourful darvic rings!


However on closer inspection of the metal ring of this bird, it become obvious that we needed to replace this as we could just about read LITHUANIA and the code was almost unreadable! Which left us wondering whether this could be a rather old bird – watch this space!


As always when out catching at our Coot sites, we always make time to look for colour ringed birds – this proving most useful for ‘logging’ birds back at their wintering/ringing locations. Although I have yet to enter this information onto the computer, just looking at a few histories clearly shows birds summering away from Southport, moving all over the UK & then travelling back to Southport to spend the winter! I’ve said this many times before, but these birds really do amaze me – in that you very rarely see them in flight or move off a pond – yet ringing them is unravelling lots of information on their secret nocturnal movements!  


Anyhow back to the Norwegian darvic’d Black-headed Gull.  This bird was caught and ringed by Carsten Lome & Morten Helberg in April 2008 in Frognerparken, Oslo.  Carsten & Morten also controlled one of our Black-headed Gulls (famous 2A00!) in Oslo in March last year. So we’ve now ‘exchanged’ birds with each other’s projects!


Several mist netting sessions this week caught decent numbers of Greenfinch, Goldfinch & Blackcap. A Common Gull caught in Manchester was also a highlight!


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