Saturday, 26 March 2011

Simply a Great Day! - 26th March 2011

2 1stw Herring Gull Chris Bridge and I joined the Severn Estuary Gull Group to cannon net gulls on a local tip. Arriving on site early AM, the smell of landfill and the sponginess of the ground was both surreal and off putting to say the least. After the initial 'shock' wore off, we set the nets just before 9am and fired mid-morning catching a superb 138 birds.
We caught 3 1st winter Great-black backed gulls, which were a great treat for the 3 ringers (myself included) whom had never ringed this species before. Great Black-backs are massive birds, but you really cannot appreciate just how big until you have one in your hand having a go at your wrists!
1stw Great Black-backed Gull
As part of the gull ringing group, we darviced all of the Lesser Black-backs and 40 of the Herring Gulls (sub-adult pictured above) which are now sporting blue darvics with yellow writing. Hopefully, this I shall be 'scoping' one of these up north in the near future!
adult Lesser Black-backed Gull...stunning birds but a nasty bite!
During the day we caught 3 Great Black-backed Gull, 95 Herring Gull and 40 Lesser Black-backed Gull. Although we had to put up with a constant smell of cheese and burnt plastic, it was one of the most enjoyable and memorable ringing experiences I have ever has the good fortune of witnessing. I hope to return to future catches, if the group will ofcourse have me!

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