Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Norwegian Black-headed Gull

We received a handful of recoveries from the BTO recently and one of the birds we had been waiting for was a colour ringed Black-headed Gull that Craig had observed at Fairhaven Lake on 26th November 2012. This bird had been ringed at Frognerparken, Oslo, Norway on 8th April 2011 and was obviously wintering in the UK. See the Google Earth image below.

Based on the original ringing date of 8th April it is possible that this bird was still on migration and could have been heading to some breeding grounds further east. It could equally of course been back in the area it was intending to breed in.

I managed to tear myself away from my desk late morning to head to my feeding station to feed. I'm afraid that during the winter I become a slave to the feeding station, but I don't mind as we are gaining valuable information through ringing these declining farmland birds and the supplementary food that I provide helps the birds through the lean period of late winter.

The usual suspects were around including 135 Tree Sparrows and 41 Chaffinches. I had a short walk along the '97 hedge' before the biting easterly wind defeated me and had two Grey Partridges, 44 Corn Buntings, 16 Skylarks and 150 Pink-footed Geese heading west. On my way off the moss I had another flock of 20 Corn Buntings with a single Yellowhammer.

 Some of the Corn Buntings - honest!