Ringing Report for 2004

On 14th February I ringed my first bird in Guernsey for a decade – a Great Tit netted in my garden at Ty Coed, Vale Marais. For the previous ten years I had focussed very much on my young family, on my “new” job as Chief Executive of Guernsey Post Office, and on discovering that there was a world beyond Guernsey’s shores.  The new required me to travel widely, and I soon discovered the marvels of new countries with their fascinating landscapes, wildlife and human cultures. Over the twelve years from 1993-2004, I visited around 50 countries, set foot on all seven continents and saw around 45% of all the bird species on Earth.
The decision to re-commence ringing was rather half-hearted, and looking back now was probably motivated by a desire to make sure that I retained my Channel Islands Ringing Permit. Whatever, in 2004 I only caught birds in the garden on two days in February, one in March and one in July – hardly a convincing or committed return! A total of 40 birds of nine species were ringed; the highlight being a single male Blackcap caught in July.
By the end of the year my personal ringing total stood at 44,433 birds of 123 species. Unsurprisingly there were no foreign controls during the year, although ten foreign recoveries were reported from previous years. All were seabirds as follows: - Northern Gannet (5), Lesser Black-backed Gull (4) and Shag (1).

Foreign Recoveries: -

Northern Gannet

F 15981         Pullus              13.06.92         Les Etacs, Alderney
                        X                     22.01.04         Koksijde, West Flanders, Belgium (3rd), 390 km, 4240 days
F 15369         Pullus              12.06.92        Ortac, Alderney
                        X                     21.02.04         St Vaast-la-Hague, Manche, France (89th), 80 km, 4271 days
F 16505         Pullus              19.06.93         Les Etacs, Alderney
                        V (on nest)     20.05.04         Helgoland, Germany, (18th), 860 km, 3988 days
A very exciting control of an Alderney Gannet now breeding on Helgoland in the North Sea.

F 6723            Pullus          10.06.84        Les Etacs, Alderney
                        X                    01.09.04       De Panne, West Flanders, Belgium (4th), 380km, 7388 days
F 16600         Pullus            19.06.93         Les Etacs, Alderney
                        X                   18.09.04         Boulogne, France, (90th), 300 km, 4109 days
European Shag
F 15139         Pullus          08.06.92         L’Etac de Serk, Sark           
                        X                 07.03.04         Les Pieux, Manche, France, (138th), 40 km, 4290 days
Lesser Black-backed Gull
E 4270           Pullus            13.07.89         Burhou, Alderney      
                        VV                12.11.04         Tavira, Algarve, Portugal, (11th), 1470 km, 5610 days
E 5025           Pullus            29.06.92        Brecqhou, Sark        
                        VV                11.10.99         Figuera da Foz, Portugal 1134 km, 2660 days
                        VV                12.11.04         Figuera da Foz, Portugal, (12th), 4520 days
E 4170           Pullus           10.07.89          Brecqhou, Sark
                        VV                15.11.04          Figuera da Foz, Portugal, (13th),  1140 km, 5607 days
E 5763            Pullus          07.07.93           Burhou, Alderney
                        VV                20.11.04          Costa da Caparica, Portugal, (14th), 1350 km, 4154 days
An impressive series of reports from Portugal, a known wintering ground for  L B B Gulls nesting in the Channel Islands. The rings have been read in the field by ornithologists using telescopes.
Local Recoveries/Controls
Northern Gannet
F 14246            Pullus             29.06.91        Les Etacs, Alderney
                        X (net/rope)     19.06.04        Les Etacs, 4,739 days
F 12863            Pullus             16.09.90        Les Etacs, Alderney
                        X (net/rope)     19.06.04        Les Etacs, 5,117 days
F 8804               Pullus            28.06.86        Les Etacs, Alderney
                         X                      25.06.04        Alderney, 6,572 days
The first two birds were found dead snarled in the netting/rope that the gannets unfortunately take up onto the rocks to use for nesting material. Presumably they are attracted to the bright colours – orange and blue. Les Etacs can be covered in such material, and every year adults are found tangled. Most are already dead, but we also release several adults during our annual ringing trips. Les Etacs seems to suffer more from this problem than Ortac.
European Shag
F 5724                 Pullus                   21.06.81            Crevichon, Jethou               
                            X (landfall)            25.06.04            Crevichon, 8,398 days
This is my oldest Shag recovery. Jamie Hooper and Catherine found her body still on the nest, when  part of the bank collapsed above her (presumably during heavy rain).
Common Guillemot
E 2390                       Adult               24.06.92            Longue Pierre, Herm
                                    V                     18.06.04            Longue Pierre
This bird was also retrapped by Jamie and Catherine; it is my oldest guillemot control.

Paul K Veron

Channel Islands Bird Ringing Permit No 129