GuernseyGulls Annual Report 2013

                                              LBBG Black 8A8 Portugal (c) Pedro Marques                                        PKV with LBBGs on Burhou (c) Chris Bale

Executive Summary

The GuernseyGulls research projects continued to go from strength to strength in 2013, with another very successful and enjoyable year in almost all areas of work. 2,600 gulls were colour ringed, taking the total number of gulls marked in this way since 2008 to 9,507, making the work in the Bailiwick of Guernsey amongst the largest such gull research projects in Europe. Given the large increase in colour ringed gulls, it is not surprising that 2013 was a record-breaking year for the numbers of sightings both within and outside the Channel Islands.

The opportunity was also taken this year to include a small pilot project tracking Lesser Black-backed Gulls nesting on Burhou. Given the highly variable annual success rates for the most important gull colony in the Channel Islands, this is a particularly valuable development. This is part of Vicky Warwick-Evans’ Ph.D. research work on tracking several seabirds nesting around Alderney in connection with the potential development of tidal power in the region. While very little data was secured from the ten data loggers deployed, the experience gained this year will be most useful if the decision is taken to expand the pilot scheme in 2014.

Another very significant highlight of the year was the conversion of the electronic databases developed by the late Dr Charles David to hold all the gull data into a web-based application. This work was very generously undertaken at the initiative of Colin Le Conte, Managing Director of Digimap Ltd, and several of his staff most notably Jean-Luc Jean, Peter Carre and Jason Renouf. The key advantages of this web-based application are that the data is automatically backed up every evening on industrial-scale servers, and it enables observers anywhere in the world to enter their gull sightings direct on the web site and to receive an instant full life history and Google Earth map of the birds’ movements. It is also a very major time saving application for me in recording the observations and replying to observers.

                                                                  Gulls at Chouet landfill (c) PKV                                            LBBG B2T7 Chouet Landfill (c) Dave Murray

                                 Vicky Warwick-Evans and Tim Morley Burhou (c) PKV                                                Chris Mourant at Ty Coed (c) PKV

Colour Ringing Gulls

Over the years the small GuernseyGulls Team has learnt when and how it is possible to catch and ring gulls most efficiently. The two largest impacts are the annual week-long visit of Paul Roper and members of the North Thames Gull Group in May when we are able to cannon net gulls at Chouet Landfill, and the ringing of gull chicks in the main accessible colonies each summer. We have supplemented this work with catching full–grown gulls in our garden near the landfill each summer, while in 2013 we also took several decent winter catches of Herring Gulls both at Chouet Landfill and in our garden to try to gain an understanding of the origins of some of the large numbers of Herring Gulls which arrive in the Islands each autumn. Many of these gulls are immature birds, and are no doubt attracted to the island by the presence of an active organic landfill at Chouet.

Cannon Netting at Chouet Landfill with North Thames Gull Group. It isn't all Hard Work! (c) Cris Sellares & PKV

Overall 2013 proved to be an excellent year for colour ringing all three of our main study species – Lesser Black-backed Gull (LBBG) (Larus fuscus), Herring Gull (HG) (Larus argentatus) and Great Black-backed Gull (GBBG) (Larus marinus). The grand total of 2,600 birds was made up of LBBG 762¹:689²:73³, HG 1759¹:1534²:225³ and GBBG 78¹:14²:64³ (where ¹ = grand total, ² = fully grown and ³ = chicks). A full breakdown of colour ringed gulls in 2013 by species, age and island is included at Appendix 1. 94% of the gulls were colour ringed on Guernsey, with 3% in each of Alderney and Sark. This is a low percentage for Alderney, and is wholly due to 2013 being another year with extremely low productivity amongst the nesting LBBGs. This is fast becoming one of the major areas of concern for the Channel Islands’ breeding seabirds. We now know that very low numbers of (and in some cases almost no) chicks have been raised by the 1,000+ pairs' strong colony in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2013. It is very doubtful if the colony can maintain its size in the face of such low productivity, unless there is considerable continuing immigration from other colonies. While the principal reason for such low fecundity is currently believed to be insufficient food supplies to sustain the nesting birds, non-breeding full-grown birds and chicks we do not yet have sufficient evidence to be sure of this. Establishing what is happening within this LBBG colony should be one of the priorities for seabird research in the Islands. After Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus), the LBBG is arguably the most important nesting seabird in the Channel Islands.

As previously mentioned the GuernseyGulls work is very much a partnership with the North Thames Gull Group, who for the past five years have visited the Island for a week in late spring to run an intensive gull catching effort at Chouet Landfill. Appendix 2 shows the massive contribution this partnership has made to the gull research in Guernsey. Over the five years 6,595 gulls have been caught and processed (including birds only metal-ringed and re-traps) by the joint team. As we have gained experience and knowledge of Chouet Landfill the percentage of LBBGs (the principal study species) caught and ringed has been very impressive. In 2012 more fully-grown LBBGs were ringed at Chouet than in the whole of the rest of the British Isles, and we managed to do even better in 2013! The results from these intensive weeks will continue to provide invaluable data for our gull studies for many years to come.

In terms of the breeding season 2013 was yet again one of contrasts. Both HGs and GBBGs were more productive than in any year since the studies began in 2008, and this is reflected in colour ringing totals of chicks across the Bailiwick of 225 HGs and 64 GBBGs. The HG total is only a sample as several of the accessible areas with good numbers of chicks were not ringed in 2013. However, the sites for all three species ringed in 2013 were typical of those ringed in previous summers and are therefore relatively comparable with previous years’ totals for chicks. While the Islands’ main LBBG colony on Burhou largely failed again (only 28 chicks ringed), pairs nesting on Sark did reasonably well (45 chicks colour ringed).

                                Sophie Veron Ringing Gull Chicks on Lihou (c) PKV                     PKV Ringing Gull Chicks on Sark (c) Merlin Veron

                                                           Ringing GBBG Chicks on Jethou with Phil Alexander (c) PKV

Observations of Gulls Colour Ringed in the Bailiwick

2013 was the most successful year to date for reports of gulls colour ringed in the Bailiwick. Many gulls ringed in the earlier years of the study are now building impressive life histories with reports abroad for several consecutive autumns/winters with records in the intervening springs/summers of birds back in the islands (some at their actual nesting sites). While it will be several years yet before we analyse the wealth of data accumulating in our Gulls databases we are beginning to see some familiar patterns emerging from the repeated sightings of many individual gulls. Many life histories for both HGs and LBBGs show amazing fidelity to previous wintering grounds and in some cases also migration stop-overs, while we are also beginning to discover the principal wintering grounds for these species too. Differing migratory/dispersal behaviour between different age classes of gulls is also emerging.

An incredible total of 17,656 individual sightings of our colour ringed gulls were reported during 2013. The majority were of course from Guernsey, but observations were also reported from ten territories outside the Channel Islands as follows: - Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Wales, Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and Morocco. A sample of some of the more noteworthy reports is included in Appendix 3.

                                               LBBG W4U8 Portugal (c) Henk Hin                           Herring Gull W2RR6 Sark (c) Dave Murray

LBBG W7Z4 and Gulls at Malaga Port (c) Salva Garcia

Lesser Black-backed Gull

There were 8,304 reports in 2013, which included 27 birds reported dead or sick. Almost three quarters (6,103) of the observations were made in Guernsey, with another 247 in Alderney (all valuable summer records taken on Burhou or on the beaches of Alderney). Six observations were made during the summer on Sark, with only a single report form Jersey.

The majority of records outside the Channel Islands came from passage/wintering grounds in Iberia (Spain 818 reports of 409 individual gulls and Portugal 692 reports of 345 individual gulls), or France (340 reports of 196 birds). There were fewer reports from Morocco (54 observations of 17 gulls); all from Anza/Agadir except a single bird found dead at Casablanca in September of its 2nd year. Two birds were recorded once each in The Canary Islands (Gran Canaria and Lanzarote). Many of these gulls are now building very interesting and valuable life histories with reports in both wintering and breeding areas spanning several years.

Comparatively few LBBGs were reported from mainland Britain (32 sightings of 23 gulls in England and two of separate birds in Wales). Some of the most surprising records involved six reports of three gulls in The Netherlands and a single bird seen once in Sweden.

LBBGs in Guernsey (c) PKV

Ringing LBBGs on Burhou PKV and Tim Morley (c) PKV and Vicky-Warwick Evans

Herring Gull      

Of the 8,623 records in 2013 42 involved dead or sick birds. The vast majority were colour ring reads or metal ring reads or recaptures with colour rings being fitted). The less migratory nature of this gull is reflected in the fact that only 6.7% of observations were made outside the Channel Islands. These reports came from France (546 reports of 342 birds), England (30 reports of 25 birds), Spain (four reports of three birds) and Portugal and The Netherlands single reports of one bird each.

The northernmost HG reported from France in 2013 was seen at Le Portel, Pas-de-Calais (50.7015), while then southernmost bird was observed at Saint-Denis-d’Oleron, Charente-Maritime (46.047). The longitudinal span of reports was 7.3 degrees; from Blaringhem, Nord in the east (2.4142) to Ile-de-Sein, Finistere in the west (-4.855).

18 of the 25 birds seen in England were observed in the south-west coastal counties of Cornwall (11), Devon (six) and Dorset (one). The easternmost record was a single bird at Dungeness, Kent (0.971).

The magnetic attraction of Chouet Landfill for Channel Islands nesting Herring Gulls from beyond Guernsey is shown with 162 observations of 74 different birds in Jersey (compare to just one LBBG in 2013), 44 observations of 36 gulls in Alderney and 23 reports of 22 birds from Sark.

Yellow-legged Gull

Considering we have only ringed three Yellow-legged Gulls, it was most pleasing to receive 11 reports from two of these birds. One bird was seen three times in Guernsey, while the other was reported no fewer than eight times from Catalunya, Spain.

 Great Black-backed Gull

Work on this species is gathering momentum, and this year there were 718 sightings of Guernsey-ringed GBBGs (702 colour ring reads, ten metal ring reads and six birds reported dead or sick). 653 reports (91%) came from Guernsey, with 33 (21 birds) from England (all in Cornwall, Devon or Dorset), 31 (13 birds) from France (singles in Somme, Seine-Maritime, Calvados, Vendée, Loire-Atlantique and Pyrenees-Atlantique, with four birds in Manche and three in Finistere).

Observations of  Foreign Colour Ringed Gulls in the Bailiwick

One of the consequential benefits of the gull research in the Bailiwick is the observation of a significant number of gulls each year, which have been colour-ringed outside the Channel Islands. As well as providing valuable data for the individual gull research projects spread across much of Western Europe, these sightings also provide interesting information on the origins of some of the gulls observed in the islands at various times of the year. A sample of some of the more noteworthy reports is included in Appendix 4.

Two Spanish-ringed LBBGs seen in Guernsey (c) PKV

English and Norwegian-Ringed LBBGs seen in Guernsey (c) PKV

Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

There were ten reports of two Polish colour-ringed birds, which have now spent several winters in the Island.

Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)

There were 13 reports involving three individuals, one from France (Yonne) and two from Belgium (Antwerp), including White 3E90 which has now been recorded in Guernsey over eight consecutive autumns).

Lesser Black-backed Gull

It was an excellent year for foreign-ringed LBBGs with 66 sightings of 37 different birds from ten countries representing at least 16 separate European gull research projects. This total was comprised reports of individual birds from Norway (ten from Vest-Agder and one from Finnmark), Denmark (one from Wadden Sea), Germany (one from Schleswig-Holstein), The Netherlands (three – one each from Noord Holland, Rotterdam and Noord Brabant), Belgium (two from Zeebrugge), Scotland (one from Fife), Wales (one each from Cardiff and Flat Holm Island), England 13 (Gloucestershire – five, Suffolk – three, Somerset – two, and singles in Lancashire, Norfolk and Essex); Spain two – (Castile & Léon and Malaga) and Portugal – one (Faro).

Herring Gull

Only five individual foreign-ringed HGs were recorded with four birds from England (two birds from Gloucestershire and singles from Somerset and Greater London), and a single record from France (Seine-Maritime).

Yellow-legged Gull

A metal-ringed juvenile Yellow-legged Gull seen and photographed at L’Éree Beach on 14 September 2013 had been ringed as a chick at Fanel, Neuchatel, Switzerland on 22 May 2013. This is the first gull of any species ringed in Switzerland to be seen in the Channel Islands, but is typical of the north-westerly movements of Central European juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls in their first autumns

 Great Black-backed Gull

By contrast there were 310 reports of 86 different GBBGs in 2013. The majority (215 of 65 birds) were from the two projects being run on the Chausey Islands, Manche (155 reports of 41 gulls) and Le Havre, Seine-Maritime (60 observations of 24 birds). However, there were also 68 records of 15 birds from England (seven each from the projects being run on Looe Island, Cornwall and Portland Harbour, Dorset and a single from a landfill site in Greater London). The most distant records were 27 sightings of six different Norwegian-ringed GBBGs (four from Vest-Agder, one from Hordaland and one from within the Arctic Circle at Vardo in Finnmark).

Gulls recorded on Ring Reading Trips to Portugal and Morocco

Once again, I was fortunate to make two autumn/winter trips to Portugal and one winter trip to Morocco to search for our colour ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls in their wintering areas. The first was a very early visit in the 3rd week of September to Quarteira in the Algarve. Despite being a month earlier than I would normally go, there were still good numbers (c 4,000+) of Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Quarteira Beach most mornings, although the other gull hotspots of Portimao Fish Port and Porto de Lagos Landfill were very much quieter than normal. During the week, I managed to record 67 different colour-ringed LBBGs from the following countries:- Bailiwick of Guernsey (18), The Netherlands (16), England (ten), Wales (six), Belgium (four), Portugal (four), France (three), Scotland (two), Norway (two) and singles from Iceland and Spain.

Whereas the first trip south had been combined with a family holiday, the second one was a fast-paced five day look along the west coast of Portugal from Porto in the north to Figueira da Foz in the south. I knew from other observers how important this area is for Channel Islands’ LBBGs in the autumn and winter, but I was still rather ill-prepared for what awaited me! Over the five days I visited Matosinhos Beach and Fish Port, Praia da Mira, Figueira da Foz (beaches and fish port), Aveiro Flats, Gafanha da Nazaré Fish Port, Vagueira and the landfills at Vil de Matos and Eirol. I took just over 250 colour ringed gull observations, of which no fewer than 90 were LBBGs from the Bailiwick of Guernsey. I am particularly indebted to Peter Rock (whom I met in Figueira da Foz) for all his pre-trip advice, for showing me the gull hotspots in the south and for arranging access for me to Vil de Matos and Eirol Landfills. My half day at Eirol Landfill rates as one of the best gull experiences ever with some 10,000+ gulls (mostly LBBGs) present. Local Matosinhos resident Malcolm Millais also helped with access to Leixoes Fish Port, and with his wife Vera was most hospitable during my short visit.

Peter Rock at Vil de Matos Landfill, Portugal (c) PKV                                                                           Eirol Landfill, Portugal (c) PKV

Gulls on Figueira da Foz Beach, Portugal (c) PKV                                                                       Gulls on Quarteira Beach, Portugal (c) PKV

Finally, Catherine and I made a return to Agadir for a week in mid-December. Here the little beach by the sardine processing factory at Anza was as marvellous as ever, with up to 30,000 gulls (mostly LBBGs) on many days. As expected the number of Guernsey LBBGs reduces as one gets this far south, with birds from further north (Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands and Belgium dominating). This phenomenon, where birds from the northernmost parts of a species’ range travel further south than those which have migrated from breeding sites in lower latitudes, is known (very descriptively) as Leapfrog Migration.

PKV at Anza, Morocco with Guernsey LBBG B0AP2 (c) PKV

 Here is a comparison of the country of ringing for my Lesser Black-backed Gull reads from three trips to Anza, Agadir, Morocco - each trip has been of one week’s duration in early December.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls








The Netherlands                




















Channel Isles                  
































(Effort was more limited in 2010)

Numbers refer to individual birds (not total numbers of sightings).

The Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) Project

In the 2nd year of our research project on Great Cormorants we managed to colour ring 47 chicks at three small colonies. At this rate it will take many years before we accumulate sufficient data to be able to analyse the movements and mortality of this species. During the year we received only six reports of two birds; one found dead in Morbihan, France and the other sighted five times at a roost in Somerset, England.

Sophie Veron and Great Cormorant Colony (c) PKV


In what proved to be one of the busiest and most successful years for the gull research, it was disappointing not to have financial sponsors, but this is very much a sign of the present challenging financial times. GuernseyGulls remains very grateful to the small team of people who give up time to help with the various activities be that fieldwork, data processing, arranging access to key sites or general encouragement to continue the work. In particular we remain indebted to Paul Roper and members of the North Thames Gull Group who joined us again in 2013 for an intensive and highly successful week of gull ringing at Chouet Landfill in May. This week would not have been possible without the kind permission of the Public Services Department and States Works, and the Management and Staff at the landfill, who do so much to help us get the most from our research.

For the fieldwork this year I was joined on most occasions by Chris Mourant, Phil Alexander and Carolyn Brouard, but with Jamie and Mish Hooper, Vic Froome, Trevor Bourgaize, Rich Austin, Sophie Veron, Catherine Veron, Ian Buxton and Cris Sellares also helping in various sessions. In Alderney various members of the Alderney Wildlife Trust gave invaluable assistance including Roland Gauvain, Tim Morley, Vicky Warwick-Evans, Aurelie Bohan and Anne-Isabelle Boulon. On Sark Andy Cook was as reliable as ever with access to the key colonies. Finally we are most grateful to Chris Morris of Guernsey Sea Fisheries who helped with our seabird work, and who enabled me to gain some very useful information on LBBGs feeding off Guernsey’ west coast in August this year.

One cannot over-estimate the crucial work of Colin Le Conte and Digimap this year, in creating a web-front for the gulls databases, and of course to Rich and Margaret Austin for their continued dedication and huge amount of hard work in continuing to run and computerise the Channel Islands’ Bird Ringing Scheme.

…and finally…a very large Thank You to everyone in the Channel Islands and beyond who has taken the time and the trouble to report observations of colour ringed gulls in 2013, and thus contribute to these important conservation initiatives. I am also grateful for the many photographs of colour ringed Gulls supplied by many observers. Regrettably, it has only been possible in this report to use a tiny fraction of the wonderful photos submitted in 2013.


Paul K Veron

CI Bird Ringing Permit No 129

27 February 2013

                                                 GBBG Y1VV1 Isles of Scilly (c) Joe Pender                           After the WorkRinging Gull Chicks - Burhou (c) PKV

Appendix 1

Table of Gulls Colour Ringed in 2013 (by species, island and age)

pullus Full-Grown Total
LBBG 45 0 45
HG 32 0 32
GBBG 2 0 2
LBBG 28 33 61
HG 12 0 12
GBBG 1 0 1
LBBG 0 656 656
HG 181 1534 1715
GBBG 61 14 75
B-h G 0 1 1
362 2238 2600 2600

Appendix 2

Total Number of Gulls Caught During Cannon Netting at Chouet landfill, Guernsey 2009 - 2013


SPECIES 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2009-2013
Herring Gull 642 824 1273 553 1240 4532
Lesser B-b Gull 90 184 493 527 718 2012
Great B-b Gull 12 0 16 11 9 48
Yellow-legged Gull 0 0 1 1 0 2
Black-headed Gull 0 0 0 0 1 1
Total 744 1008 1783 1092 1968 6595


2009 =  04 – 06 June (three days)

2010 =  27 – 28 May (two days)

2011 =  16 – 21 May (five and a half days)

2012 = 21 – 26 May  (five and a half days)

2013 = 20 – 25 May  (five and a half days)

Total = 21.5 days

LBBGs at Landfills in NE France (c) Harry Vercruijsse

  LBBGs in Porto, Portugal (c) Inocencio Oliveira

Appendix 3

  Selected Sightings of Bailiwick Colour-Ringed Gulls in 2013

vv = field sighting

x = found dead

 Lesser Black-backed Gull

 Black 6T5              D5564         pullus    10/07/2010         Burhou, ALDERNEY

                                                vv           02/10/2010         Quarteira Beach, Faro, PORTUGAL

                                                vv           15/02/2012         Tanji Bird Reserve, THE GAMBIA

                                                x              12/07/2013         Burhou, ALDERNEY

(It is regrettable that this bird died back at its natal colony having returned from travelling at least 4,250 km south. This remains the longest known migration of any Channel Islands’ ringed LBBG).

 Black 0AN7          D6980         adult      16/06/2012         Burhou, ALDERNEY

                                                vv           12/07/2013         Crabby Bay, ALDERNEY

                                                vv           23/11/2013         Arrecife, Lanzarote, CANARY ISLANDS

(Only the fourth CI LBBG to be recorded in the Canary Islands – the other three all on Gran Canaria).

 Black 7AP1          D7142           pullus    14/07/2012         Burhou, ALDERNEY

                                                X             10/09/2013         Casablanca, MOROCCO

(One of 17 CI LBBGs recorded in Morocco in 2013, and the only one reported dead).

 Black 1AN1          D6984         adult      16/06/2012         Burhou, ALDERNEY

                                                vv           24/01/2013         Telford, Shropshie, ENGLAND

(This is the most northerly LBBG sighting in England in 2013).

 Black 8T1              D6306        adult      17/05/2011         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           14/03/2012         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           23/06/2012         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY (x 5 in between)

                                                vv           05/01/2013         Valencia National Park, SPAIN

                                                vv           28/02/2013         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           25/04/2013         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY (x4 in between)

(LBBG observations are infrequent from the Mediterranean coast of NE Spain above Malaga).

 Black 5P8             D5417          pullus    09/07/2010         Burhou, ALDERNEY

                                                vv           05/11/2010         Matosinhos, PORTUGAL

                                                vv           12/08/2011         Doninos Beach, A Coruna, SPAIN

                                                vv           14/10/2011         Matosinhos, PORTUGAL

                                                vv           10/11/2011         Figueira da Foz, Coimbra, PORTUGAL

                                                vv           29/04/2013         Nevern Estuary, Dyfed, WALES

                                                vv           26/09/2013         Odiel Marshes, Huelva, SPAIN

(This is an immature gull typically wintering in Iberia, but wandering north of its natal colony in its 4th summer).

 Black 9AC8          D5867         adult      11/06/2011         Burhou, ALDERNEY

                                                vv           13/08/2011         Colmenar Viejo Landfill, Madrid, SPAIN

                                                vv           26/11/2011         Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, SPAIN (x 9 in between)

                                                vv           01/09/2012         Colmenar Viejo Landfill, Madrid, SPAIN

                                                vv           03/03/2013         Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, SPAIN (x 8 in between)

                                                vv           15/12/2013         Harlingen Fish Port, Friesland, THE NETHERLANDS

(Few CI nesting LBBGs are found north of the breeding colonies in winter).

Black 1AK9          D6602      3rd Yr      22/05/2012         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           02/08/2012         Esmelle Beach, A Coruna, SPAIN

                                                X(car)    28/05/2013         Maasvlakte, South Holland, THE NETHERLANDS

(This bird was killed in a large LBBG nesting colony…perhaps its natal colony?).

 Black 9CA9          D7604       2nd Yr     23/05/2013         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           11/06/2013         Noordwijk, South Holland, THE NETHERLANDS

                                                vv           20/06/2013         Groote Keeten, North Holland, THE NETHERLANDS

                                                vv           26/10/2013         Katwijke, South Holland, THE NETHERLANDS

(This is probably a Dutch-bred gull that was ringed on passage through Guernsey in mid-May).

Black B8AN9       D7062         adult      12/07/2012         Rue du Closel, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           14/09/2013         Eldsberga, Halmstad, SWEDEN

(This was the most unexpected LBBG report of the year. It was presumably a Scandinavian bird which was summering in Guernsey as a non-breeding bird in July 2012?).

 Herring Gull

White 3CA0        E18145       2nd Yr     16/05/2011         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           02/06/2011         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           26/10/2013         Katwijk, South Holland, THE NETHERLANDS

(This is unusually far to the north-east for a  CI HG to travel).

 White 0HA4        E20500       1st Yr      02/12/2012         Rue du Closel, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           11/04/2013         Nieupoort, Ijzermonding, BELGIUM

                                                vv           25/09/2013         Dannes, Pas-de-Calais, FRANCE

                                                vv           20/11/2013         Dannes, Pas-de-Calais, FRANCE (x 2 in between)

(Another HG movement well to the east of the Channel Islands…possibly a Continental bird visiting Guernsey in its 1st winter when ringed).

White 1XX6         E15392        adult      25/05/2009         Rue du Closel, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           08/08/2010         Chouet, GUERNSEY (x 3 in between)

                                                vv           25/12/2010         Lires, A Coruna, SPAIN

                                                vv           22/01/2011         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           03/06/2012         Valdovino, A Coruna, SPAIN

                                                vv           11/03/2013         Manon, A Coruna, SPAIN

                                                vv           11/05/2013         Valdovino, A Coruna, SPAIN

                                                vv           14/10/2013         Peniche, Leiria, PORTUGAL

(At 39.3553 degrees North this is the southernmost record for a Herring Gull ringed in the Channel Islands. It would appear that this adult gull took a year out of breeding in 2013, when it did not migrate back to Guernsey during the spring/summer).

 White 5CK9         E18517      3rd Yr+   18/05/2011         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           26/06/2012         Harbour, SARK

                                                vv           09/02/2013         Porto do Son, A Coruna, SPAIN

(It is unusual for CI Herring Gulls to winter as far south as northern  Iberia).

 White 3CS0         E19627      3rd Yr      21/05/2012         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           05/01/2013         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           12/04/2013         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY (x 2 in between)

                                                vv           18/06/2013         Rainham Landfill, Greater London, ENGLAND

                                                x              06/07/2013         Barking Bay, Greater London, ENGLAND

 White 1HP9        E21550       3rd Yr      23/05/2013         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           31/05/2013         Dungeness, Kent, ENGLAND.    


(These are another two CI-ringed HG reported well to the north-east of the range of most sightings in the UK, which have a distinctly south-westerly bias). 

 Yellow-legged Gull       

 Black 1AT2           D7284       1st Yr      29/07/2012         Rue du Closel, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           01/09/2012         Chouet, GUERNSEY (x 1 in between)

                                                vv           05/01/2013         Tarragona Port, Cataluña, SPAIN

                                                vv           02/03/2013         Tarragona Port, Cataluña, SPAIN (x 1 in between)

                                                vv           29/08/3013         Gandia Harbour, Valencia, SPAIN

                                                vv           09/11/2013         Tarragona Port, Cataluña, SPAIN

                                                vv           22/12/2013         Tarragona Port, Cataluña, SPAIN (x 1 in between)

(This record gives a hint as to the possible origins of some of the increasing number of Yellow-legged Gulls being seen in the Channel Islands in recent years?).

 Great Black-backed Gull

 Yellow 0FF8        J1163            pullus    27/06/2010         Longue Pierre, HERM

                                                vv           09/08/2010         Pembroke Beach, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           01/03/2011         Chouet, GUERNSEY (x 4 in between)

                                                vv           05/10/2011         Hayle Estuary, Cornwall, ENGLAND

                                                vv           25/09/2012         Portelet Beach, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           29/05/2013         Cayeux-sur-Mer, Somme, FRANCE

(A bird wandering the length of the English Channel before reaching maturity).

 Yellow 1VV1       J1367            pullus    27/06/2013         Lihou Island, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           09/10/2013         At sea off Scilly Isles, Cornwall, ENGLAND

(The most westerly record of a GBBG in Britain to date).

 Yellow 0M5         J1065             pullus    24/06/2009         Lihou Island, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           21/08/2012         L’Ille d’Olonne, Vendée, FRANCE

                                                vv           29/08/2012         L’Ille d’Olonne, Vendée, FRANCE

                                                vv           24/01/2013         Perelle Bay, GUERNSEY

                                                vv           04/05/2013         Chouet, GUERNSEY (x 2 in between)

                                                vv           01/08/2013         Le Croisic, Loire-Atlantique, FRANCE

(Many CI bred immature GBBGs wander in the Western English Channel and Northern Bay of Biscay in their early years).

 Great Cormorant

Black BK                   G2577   pullus    02/05/2012         The Humps, HERM

                                                vv           13/03/2013         Wimbleball Lake, Somerset, ENGLAND

                                                vv           16/05/2013         Wimbleball Lake, Somerset, ENGLAND (x3 )

 Herring Gulls in Guernsey (c) Anthony Loaring

                Appendix 4

Selected Sightings of Foreign Ringed Gulls in the Bailiwick in 2013

vv = field sighting

x = found dead

 Mediterranean Gull

Green RN09       FS86910                         pullus    23/06/2013         Le Prés Pendu, Véron, Yonne, FRANCE

                                                                vv           04/08/2013         Bellegreve Bay, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           04/10/2013         Cobo Beach, GUERNSEY

(A fairly typical movement from NE France to Guernsey in the autumn, but these birds do not appear to over-winter in the Channel Islands).

 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Black JR42            4257238                      pullus    31/07/2006         Matmorstua, Loppa, Finnmark, NORWAY

                                                                vv           19/11/2006         Hendaye, Pyrenees Atlantique, FRANCE

                                                                vv           21/11/2006         Zarautz, Gipuzkoa, SPAIN

                                                                vv           11/02/2007         Malaga Harbour, Malaga, SPAIN

                                                                vv           28/09/2007         Zeebrugge, BELGIUM

                                                                vv           18/04/2008         Zeebrugge, BELGIUM

                                                                vv           12/11/2010         Pinto Landfill, Madrid, SPAIN

                                                                vv           17/02/2012         Pinto Landfill, Madrid, SPAIN

                                                                vv           04/11/2012         Pinto Landfill, Madrid, SPAIN

                                                                vv           04/04/2013         Chouet Beach, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           30/07/2013         Matmorstua, Loppa, Finnmark, NORWAY

                                                                vv           12/10/2013         Ijmuiden, North Holland, THE NETHERLANDS

                                                                vv           12/10/2013         Katwijk, South Holland, THE NETHERLANDS

(This is a particularly well documented early life history of this Arctic-bred Norwegian LBBG, which appears to have returned to its natal colony to breed).

 Black JC1R           4259767                      pullus    02/07/2012         Rauna, Farsund, Vest-Agder, NORWAY

                                                                vv           04/06/2013         Angeiras, Porto, PORTUGAL

                                                                vv           11/07/2013         Burhou, ALDERNEY

(This is a Norwegian bird which has wandered back north from at least Iberia in its 1st summer visiting the LBBG colony on Burhou).

 Black J700E          4259850                      pullus    17/07/2013         Rauna, Farsund, Vest-Agder, NORWAY

                                                                vv           15/09/2013         Katwijk, South Holland, THE NETHERLANDS

                                                                vv           06/10/2013         Perelle Beach, GUERNSEY

(This is an example of a Norwegian-bred LBBG migrating through The Netherlands and Guernsey on its long journey south in its 1st winter).

 Blue J2VP            4229572                        pullus    16/07/2006         Story, Mandal, Vest-Agder, NORWAY

                                                                vv           16/11/2006         Matosinhos, Porto, PORTUGAL

                                                                vv           03/12/2007         Anza Beach, Agadir, MOROCCO

                                                                vv           20/06/2008         Hanstholm Harbour, Jylland, DENMARK

                                                                vv           15/04/2009         Porto do Son, A Coruna, SPAIN 

                                                                vv           29/04/2009         Storoytaa, Mandal, Vest-Agder, NORWAY

                                                                vv           12/07/2012         Vest-Agder, NORWAY (x 13 in between)

                                                                vv           10/11/2012         Figueira da Foz, Coimbra, PORTUGAL

                                                                vv           26/03/2013         Chouet Beach, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           15/05/2013         Mandal, Vest-Agder, NORWAY

(Note that this LBBG has been reported from six countries on two Continents, covering a minimum straight line distance from its natal colony to its furthest known wintering location in Morocco of 3,330 km).

 Blue VL9C                                                pullus    03/07/2011         Langli, Wadden Sea, DENMARK

                                                                vv           04/10/2013         Vazon Bay, GUERNSEY

(This is only the third Danish-colour-ringed LBBG to be seen in the Bailiwick).

 Red H134             N006529                      pullus    04/07/2008         Amrum Isle, Schleswig-Holstein, GERMANY

                                                                vv           30/11/2008         Pinto Landfill, Madrid, SPAIN

                                                                vv           10/01/2010         Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, SPAIN (x7)

                                                                vv           20/02/2010         Toledo, SPAIN

                                                                vv           19/03/2010         Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, SPAIN

                                                                vv           26/01/2013         Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, SPAIN (x7)

                                                                vv           23/03/2013         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           16/11/2013         Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, SPAIN

(This is a German LBBG recorded on spring passage through Guernsey in March, which has a history of wintering around the landfills in central Spain).

 Green YBMA                                              pullus    08/07/2013         Ijmuiden, North Holland, THE NETHERLANDS

                                                                   vv           04/10/2013         Chouet, GUERNSEY


Black VF               5473606                        pullus    29/06/2013         Maasvlakte, Rotterdam, THE NETHERLANDS

                                                                vv           04/10/2013         Chouet, GUERNSEY

(Remarkably few LBBGs from The Netherlands are recorded on spring or autumn passage in Guernsey. Most Dutch birds migrate south well to the east of Guernsey (cutting across the Cherbourg Peninsula or even further east). These two birds were seen at the same time following prolonged strong easterly winds that pushed some Continental gulls well to the west of their regular migration routes).

 London                 GC76778                      pullus    11/07/2012         Isle of May, Fife, SCOTLAND

                                                                vv           16/04/2013         Chouet landfill Beach, GUERNSEY

Orange T121       6135597                        adult      23/12/2012         Salamanca, Castile & León, SPAIN

                                                                vv           23/02/2013         Chouet landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           04/07/3013         Chouet, GUERNSEY (x 6 in between)

(Relatively few Bailiwick-ringed LBBGs are sighted in this Spanish province).

 White N06F        6197174                        adult      14/11/2012         Caleta de Vélez, Malaga, SPAIN

                                                                vv           27/03/2013         Caleta de Vélez, Malaga, SPAIN (x10)

                                                                vv           04/04/2013         Chouet Beach, GUERNSEY

 Black F002           M036273                      adult      30/12/2010         Olhao Fish Port, Faro, PORTUGAL

                                                                vv           16/06/2013         Burhou, ALDERNEY

                                                                vv           12/07/2013         Burhou, ALDERBEY

(This gull was nesting on Burhou).

 Herring Gull

White AZ             GR19202                      pullus    24/06/2011         Bath, Somerset, ENGLAND

                                                                vv           15/10/2011         Upton Warren, Worcs, ENGLAND

                                                                vv           15/02/2012         Throckmorten, Worcs, ENGLAND

                                                                vv           18/01/2013         Chouet Beach, GUERNSEY

(One of the HGs from Peter Rock’s long running research project on urban nesting gulls in several towns and cities in SW England and Wales).

 Blue B67A            DB110888                    pullus    28/06/2011         Le Havre, Seine-maritime, FRANCE

                                                                vv           16/04/2013         Chouet Landfill Beach, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           31/05/2013         Blaringhem, Nord, FRANCE

(An example of a French HG wandering short distances along the English Channel in its immaturity).

Yellow-legged Gull

Sempach             M034174                      pullus   22/05/2013         Fanel, Neuchatel, SWITZERLAND

                                                                vv         14/09/2013         L’Éree Beach, GUERNSEY

(A very exciting indication of the origins of some of the Yellow-legged Gulls being seen increasingly regularly in Guernsey in autumn)

 Great Black-backed Gull

Orange PF6T      MA26833                     2nd Yr     29/01/2011         Rainham Landfill, Gr. London, ENGLAND

                                                                vv           10/08/2011         Chouet landfill Beach, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           14/08/2011         Chouet landfill Beach, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           13/11/2011         East Looe River, Cornwall, ENGLAND

                                                                vv           07/01/2012         Chouet landfill Beach, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           12/01/2013         East Looe River, Cornwall, ENGLAND

                                                                vv           08/02/2013         Chouet landfill Beach, GUERNSEY

(Such sightings on both the northern and southern areas of the western English Channel are very regular for GBBGs ringed in region, but this bird is likely to originate from further east).

 Black J2787          FA34655                   adult      17/05/2012         Hornoya, Vardo, Finnmark, NORWAY

                                                                vv           26/05/2013         Hornoya, Vardo, Finnmark, NORWAY

                                                                vv           11/10/2013         Perelle Bay, GUERNSEY

(This bird is a breeding adult from the far Arctic north of Norway. It was also fitted with a geolocator on its colour ring, which will give researchers in Norway much more detailed information on the bird’s migration).

 Black JA612              3022812                pullus    29/06/2008         Bauholmen, Mandal, Vest-Agder, NORWAY

                                                                vv           28/11/2008         Chouet Landfill Beach, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           27/05/2009         Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           02/10/2010         Perelle Bay, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           11/10/2011         St Vaast-la-Hougue, Manche, FRANCE

                                                                vv           13/10/2012         Vazon Beach, GUERNSEY

                                                                vv           11/10/2013         Perelle Bay, GUERNSEY

(This Norwegian-bred GBBG shows site fidelity to Guernsey over six years – mostly as an autumn migrant, but also once as a spring migrant).

 Black JJ048               3024092                vv           25/06/2013         Lindas, Hordaland, NORWAY

                                                                vv           20/08/2013         Skegness, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND

                                                                vv           28/12/2013         Chouet Landfill Beach, GUERNSEY

(A typical movement south-west in winter by a Norwegian-bred GBBG in its first winter).

                                     Meiras Beach (where many Guernsey LBBGs stop off on their migrations), A Coruna, Spain (c) Antonio Gutierrez