Wanderings of a Greylag Goose

The wanderings of a Greylag Goose

The bird was trapped and had a collar fitted  in Sweden 5/6/2000 and it then wandered locally in Sweden until it was seen in the Netherlands on 31/10/2004 It then stayed in the Netherlands until it was located in Schleswig Holstein on 16/12/2006 Relocated in Denmark on 10/3/2006 and then back to its home territory in Sweden by  19/8/2006 Reported again in the Netherlands 16/12/2007 but back in Sweden between 19/8/2008 to 5/11/2008 It was then undetected until 28/2/2010 when it was found at Druridge Bay, Northumberland (1) On 23/4/2010 it was at Seahouses (2) By 23/4/2010 it was at Scarborough Yorkshire (3) 9/5/2010 Radwell Lakes, Bedfordshire (4) On 13/5/2010 it was reported near Colchester, Essex (5) but on 17/5/2010 it had returned north to Rattray Head, Aberdeen shire (6) Back south again by 20/9/2010 it was near Canterbury,Kent (7) On 9/10/2010 it was seen flying past Portgwarra and settling at the Hayle Estuary on 10/10/2010 It was last seen on the Hayle Estuary on 6/11 It was relocated at Drift Reservoir on 16/11 and last reported there on 31/12/2010 It was then found back on the Hayle Estuary on 3 & 7/1/2011 Finally, it has been relocated at Longham Lake, nr Bournemouth, Dorset (SZ 062982) on 10/1

Where is it now?

Photographed on the Hayle Estuary 14/10/2010 by Adrian Langdon

More Information on this bird

The bird was ringed as an adult bird with a family and as you suspected it is a female. The population at Lake Yddingen where it was marked is a genuinely wild population that was established some time in the late sixties of Greylags spreading from other lakes in Scania. Of course with a species like the Greylag where there has been reintroductions in many places you can of course not be sure that they have a portion of genes (and characters) of other races like rubirostris. I do not however have any notes on any deviating racial belonging of this bird, but I did not take part in the actual catching of it. There can of course be connections between Greylags from this wild population and feral birds in the neighbouring cities. We know of some neckbanded Greylags from the wild population that have moved to the feral populations in the city of Malmö. There have not been an introductions in the area during the last 30 years at least and there has always been a small, genuinely wild population remnant in the province of Scania even during the sixties before the population explosion of the Greylags.

 

Leif Nilsson

 

St George’s Island gull ringing update

Update on Gull ringing project on St George’s Island Nature Reserve, Looe Oct. 2010

With over 70 breeding pairs of Great Black-backed Gulls, The Cornwall Wildlife Trusts reserve at St. George’s Island supports a significant breeding colony of these magnificent birds. Having a wing span of around 1.5m they truly are one of Britain’s most impressive gulls and following a proposal by Pete Kent (the CWT’s East Cornwall Reserves Officer) this summer saw the start of a ringing project to learn more about these birds. The ringing scheme will last for at least five years and hopefully much longer and is a partnership between CWT and the Cornwall Bird Watching and Preservation Society

For many years Dave Curtis, a local ornithologist and David Conway, CWT’s Loveny warden, have been recording the number of Great Black-backed Gulls breeding on the Island. This new ringing project will help us gain a better understanding of their ecology and life histories. The local ringing co-ordinator, Bruce Taggart, said ‘It’s hoped that analysis of the Great Black-backed Gull data, will allow us to investigate dispersal patterns, site fidelity, survival rates and longevity, as well as monitor long term population trends.

The ringing project started in June when a team of ten volunteers visited the Island on two occasions. Forty nine Great Black-backed Gull chicks were caught and fitted with a BTO ring on the left leg and a white plastic ring engraved with a red identification code on the right leg. The code starts with the letter L, followed by a colon and then two letters and a single figure, eg L:AA1. Bruce requested that anyone seeing a ringed bird report their sighting via email: looegulls@gmail.com. You will receive a full life history of the bird and receive regular newsletter updates on the progress of the project.

The project has already begun to pay dividends. In August, shortly after fledging 6 juveniles were sighted at Looe. Then in early September another two were seen at Downderry but on the 16th September we received our first foreign report. L:AJ1 was seen on Omaha Beach, Vierville sur Mer, France, 81 days after ringing and a distance of 275 km from St Georges Island.

Three days later L:AK6 was reported from Parelle Beach in Guernsey. This bird was was ringed on the same day as L:AJ1 and had travelled 161 km. Two further Guernsey sightings of L:AK6 followed; at L’Eree Beach on 21st and 23rd September. Interestingly a Guernsey ringed Great Black back was seen at Downderry on 20th September so maybe these birds crossed mid Channel!!

Bruce commented ‘It’s early days yet but it shows how important colour ringing is in understanding what is happening to these gulls. Did L:AK6 and L:AJ1 follow their parents or head out into the English Channel alone? Only continued ringing, monitoring, reporting and time will tell.’

L:AB1 at Looe Beach on a grey August day.
Photos Jerry Lanfear

L:AA3 at Looe Beach, 18th August 2010

 
                                                               
 Great Black-backed Gulls on Parelle Beach,  Guernsey,
19th September 2010. Photos Paul Veron
Great Black-backed Gull L:AK6 on L’Eree Beach,
Guernsey, 21st September 2010.

 

 

Gull ringing project on St George’s Island, Looe

Gull ringing project on St George’s Island, Looe.

This year saw the start of a Great Black-backed Gull ringing project in Cornwall. Following a proposal by Pete Kent (Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s East Cornwall Reserves Officer) a ringing project has been set up in partnership with CBWPS to learn more about these gulls.

With over 70 breeding pairs of Great Black-backed Gulls, St. George’s Island supports a significant breeding colony of these magnificent birds. For many years local ornithologist, David Curtis and Colliford Lake’s Loveny warden, Dave Conway, have been recording the number of Great Black-backed Gulls breeding on the Island. This new ringing project will build on their work and help us understand the gulls’ ecology and life history, as well as monitor population trends.

The ringing project started in June when a team of volunteers visited the Island on two occasions. The team was faced with quite a challenge as the Island is also home to breeding Herring gulls as well as Great Black-backs and many nests and young birds were well nests hidden amongst tall vegetation!

Eventually 49 Great Black-backed Gulls were caught and fitted with a BTO ring on the left leg and a white plastic ring engraved with a red identification code on the right leg. The code starts with the letter L, followed by a colon and then two letters and a single figure, e.g. L:AA1. The local ringing co-ordinator, Bruce Taggart, has requested that anyone seeing a ringed bird report their sighting via email: looegulls@gmail.com. In turn they will receive a full life history of the bird.

Bruce says ‘We hope that analysis of the data, will allow us to investigate dispersal patterns, site fidelity, longevity, and survival rates in these gulls, as well as monitor long term population trends. We have already noted a high mortality during the egg or early chick stage which warrants further investigation.’

As Great Black backs are long lived birds the ringing scheme will last for at least five years and hopefully much longer.

Claire Lewis, the warden’s assistant for the Island says, ‘We have long wondered what happens to the fledged gulls and now, with the participation of the public this exciting new project give the us the opportunity to discover more about the gulls and in turn assist us with the management of the nature reserve’.

Bruce Taggart

Major national success for Cornish artist

Major National Success for Cornish Wildlife Artist

Three Choughs – Lizard Point                                                               Daniel Cole

This painting won the 2009 RSPB award at the SWLA (Society of Wildlife Artists) exhibition at the Mall Gallery in London. The artist, Daniel Cole, lives and works in the St. Austell clay district. He has travelled extensively birdwatching and researching his art. He has produced the illustrations for many field guides and bird books. More recently he has moved away from illustration and concentrated on Gallery and private commission work. His father, Sid Cole, is a well known St. Austell birder. More of his work can be seen at www.pinkfootgallery.co.uk and www.swla.co.uk.

Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit

 

Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit….

Colin Selway recorded a colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit at Walmsley Sanctuary on 3rd September 2008.   He was able to trace it to an Icelandic ringing project and Sigga Beta provided the following history.  It is a male bird, which was first ringed in Iceland back in 2000.  As you can see, it has visited a number of different regions of the UK and Ireland.

24.04.00

Grafarvogur, Reykjavík, SW Iceland

Faxafloi

25.04.00

Grafarvogur, Reykjavík, SW Iceland

Faxafloi

25.04.00

Grafarvogur, Reykjavík, SW Iceland

Faxafloi

26.04.00

Grafarvogur, Reykjavík, SW Iceland

Faxafloi

04.03.01

Dublin Bay, Co. Dublin, E Ireland

E Ire

01.05.01

Álftafjörður, E Iceland

E ice

06.05.01

Skeidflot I Myrdal, Vik, S Iceland

S ice

05.03.02

Pagham Harbour, Sussex, S England

S Eng

14.03.03

Ribble Estuary, Lancashire, NW England

NW Eng

13.04.06

Bartle Pools, Higher Bartle, Preston, Lancashire, NW England

NW Eng

12.04.08

Earith, Ouse Washes, Cambrigeshire, E England

E Eng

03.09.08

Walmsley Sanctuary, Cornwall, SW England

SW Eng

 

Colour-ringed Greenshank and Common Gull

Colour-ringed Greenshank and Common Gull….

This Greenshank was colour-ringed as a juvenile on the Ythan Estuary in North-eastern Scotland in August 2006.  It has been seen several times in the River Camel area since then and clearly winters here.  This photo was taken by Andy and Shirley Park on Dinham Flats (R. Camel) on 26th September. For the latest news on this Greenshank see HERE

Colin Selway reports that this Common Gull was ringed as a pullus on 20th June 2008 at Sprogo Island, Korsor, Denmark (the co-ordinates for those who have Google Earth are 06 55.20N-010.58E).  Colin photographed it at the Walmsley Sanctuary on 2nd October.

Dutch Spoonbills flying the flag

 Dutch Spoonbills flying the flag

In early November 2007, 7 Spoonbills were reported from Wacker Quay, near Torpoint on the River Lynher, a tributary of the River Tamar in Cornwall. This is a regular wintering area for between one and three birds but seven is unprecedented. On 10th November, I led a birdwatching cruise on the Rivers Tamar and Lynher and found 6 of the birds together in Shillingham Creek, but the views were rather distant. However it appeared that two Spoonbills were sporting yellow leg flags and colour rings indicating they were of Dutch origin. If close enough views were obtained, the colour combination would enable the birds origin and life histories to be discovered. The 7th bird, an adult was on its own at Wacker Quay.

On the 25th November 2007 another birdwatching cruise with 70 people on board, obtained excellent views of 6 Spoonbills feeding together on the rising tide near Wacker. On two birds the yellow leg flags could be clearly seen, but the movement of the boat made it difficult to clearly see the other colour rings. Several photos were taken in the hope of fully identifying these birds later.

Then the detective work began. Back at home, I checked the internet and contacted Otto Overdijk of the International Spoonbill Working Group in Holland who confirmed they were Dutch birds. Photos taken by Nick Tomalin and Andy Nicholas were digitally enhanced showing that both birds were juveniles and indicated that Bird 1 carried metal/green/yellow flag on left leg and yellow/blue/red on the right. (Photograph A). Bird 2 showed light green/yellow/metal on the left and yellow flag/light green/red on the right leg. (Photograph B) These were emailed to Otto who was able to confirm the identity of the birds and provide their life histories.

Bird 1 was ringed as a nestling on 21 May 2007, on the island of Schiermonnikoog, the northern most inhabited island in the Dutch Wadden Sea and a National Park. It was seen again 64 days later at Lauwersmeer, another National Park 14 km to the south of Schiermonnikoog. Its next sighting wasn’t until it arrived on the River Lynher having travelled a distance of nearly 800 km.

Bird 2 was ringed, again as a nestling at Onderdijk on the west bank of the IJsselmeer on 6 June 2007. By the end of the month it moved to Den Oever, 21 km to the north west where it was seen on numerous occasions until 2 October. Its next sighting was on the River Lynher, having travelled 694 km.

It is interesting that these birds have come from breeding colonies 100 km apart, yet have homed in on the River Lynher as a wintering site. It is also interesting to speculate the origin of the remaining birds but they are probably of Dutch origin. The majority of the Dutch population winter much further south, in southern Spain or Portugal, many venturing even further, into West Africa. Hopefully, they’ll remain for more people to enjoy on the next bird watching cruise on 9 December (see Cornwall Birding website for details).

Thanks to Otto Overdijk and the International Spoonbill Working Group for their help in preparing this note.

 

Photograph A – Bird 1 by Andy Nicholas Photograph B – Bird 2. by Andy Nicholas
  Spoonbills on River Lynher, Cornwall on 25th November 2007. Bird 1 is second from the left
and Bird 2 on the right. Photograph by Andy Nicholas