On Thursday we flew out from Manchester & hopped across the water to the Isle of Man to see Mr Gray & Mr Scott for our annual 'ringing jollies'!
Meeting the pair at the airport they whisked us off to the local gravel pits, calling off at Sean's home to collect the kayaks first, before launching them to gain access to an island. This held several pairs of breeding Greater blacked backed & Herring gulls along with a nice small Cormorant colony.
After a small battle with the wind all four of us safely made it onto the island and we got to work ringing several GBB & Herring gull chicks. The Cormorant nests were at various stages ranging from eggs to medium sized chicks - so a handful of chicks were marked with darvic rings.
After completing our little expedition we then went into a nearby breeding colony that held Herring & Lesser blacked backed gulls. Here we colour marked several chicks of both species.
We then took a walk along the beaches to see if we could muster up any wader pulli for ringing resulting in an Oystercatcher chick being caught & after a small run around a Curlew chick being found in the nearby sand dunes.
At a nearby Little tern colony two newly hatched chicks were ringed, along with the capture of a controlled adult bird.
By this time it was time to call it a day so we headed off back to Sean's to clean up & to fill our faces! However knowing from my previous visits to Sean's, I knew we hadn't quite finished ringing for the day! There were gulls to be whooshed netted in the garden!
Friday we met back up with Kev in Peel Harbour where we spent the majority of the day spring trapping Herring gulls & catching Black guillemots. The Herring gulls obviously had only one thing on their minds, in finding food for their chicks - which allowed us to capture 18 birds for colour ringing! Three Black guillemots were caught - 2 new & 1 recapture from 2005!
As always I've enjoyed my trip over to the IOM, it's a stunning place and has some cracking bird life! Sat in Sean & Niki's kitchen watching Gannets diving into the sea at the bottom of their garden, with a cheeky G&T to hand was truly memorable!
A massive thanks to Sean, Kev & Niki for having us along! Some quality bird ringing carried out with three quality friends! Thank-you muchly! until next time chin-chin!
A video made by Sean -