NLRG was formed in 1957 to help in the study of birds in the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society area. There are currently 12 active ringers. Species currently being studied include: Pied Flycatcher, Bearded Tit, Sand Martin, Twite, Goosander, Oystercatcher and Grey Wagtail. Migration has been studied for 28 years at Heysham. We welcome anyone who wants to observe, help or perhaps wish to become a ringer. Photo: A Heysham-ringed Twite on the Mull of Kintyre (thanks to Eddie Maguire)

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Med Gull Bonanza at Heysham

The Heysham Power Station outfalls attracted a lot of  attention from gull watchers this summer with the presence of a Bonaparte’s Gull. One remarkable spin off was the sightings of large numbers of Mediterranean Gull many of which were Darvic ringed. All told a minimum of 46 Med Gulls were present during this period made up of  16 juvenile, 12 2CY, 4 3CY and 14 adult.

Full details of the colour ringed birds are now to hand. They comprised the following, all ringed as nestlings and seen at Heysham during the period mid-July to September.

Germany 4, Poland 1, France 1,  Netherlands 4, Belgium 4, Czech Republic 1

There was some fascinating differences in the numbers of ringed birds present. In late July almost 50% of the birds were ringed, but in August only 10% were ringed suggesting a marked turnover of birds. Indeed it appears that this movement is part of  post breeding dispersal, for other recoveries in previous years has shown some of the late summer birds at Heysham, winter further south in Britain, France and Spain.

R13E is the best example of this movement. It was born, and is presumably now breeding  in northern France,  yet it has included Heysham in post-breeding movements in at least two years, remaining for a very short time before returning to winter on the Atlantic coast of France. One assumes that this bird does not have a "residential moult location" but just wanders dropping/re-growing the odd feather, gradually  heading for the wintering grounds, but certainly going "round  the houses" in doing so. 

Many thanks to all the observers who reported details of ringed birds. Keep up the good work|

Pete Marsh

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