Saturday, 24 December 2016

Pitsea, North Thames Gull Group - 17th December 2016

This weekend was the first outing for Lara and Waheed to the tip at Pitsea tip to gain experience with larger species and gull ringing with the North Thames Gull Group. Unfortunately it was a foggy day, so the scenic views of the tip were rather limited, and alas so was the ability to Gull watch and look for colour rings. But, neither did it reduce the ability of the smell to get into everything! It is getting increasingly difficult to get food waste brought to any tip in the UK these days, and sometimes there is a longish wait before the first dust cart with any arrives with anything that will draw the gulls in. Fortunately today we did not have to wait long, but the Gulls that came in for the first catch were mostly Black-headed Gulls. We then had a fairly lengthy wait for the second catch, as the Gulls seemed reluctant to come in and feed, despite the compactors going over it several times, they seemed not to respond, but eventually they did, and we ended up with a bigger catch, with more larger birds this time, though just restricted to Herring Gulls. The bonus was a single adult Mediterranean Gull and an interesting Glaucous x Herring hybrid.

A majority of the Gulls were colour ringed increasing the prospect of later re-sightings. We also had a good run of re-traps/controls on the day, with 27, including a Herring Gull originally ringed on 29 June 1995 on the Isle of May -  21 years ago, and a Black-headed Gull ringed at Godmanchester, Cambs on 9 December 1989 - 27 years ago.

adult Mediterranean Gull

Totals: 404 (27)

Black-headed Gull - 274 (21)
Mediterranean Gull - 1
Common Gull - 3
Herring Gull - 126 (6)