Sunday, 8 January 2012

Galway Gulls

To start off the year with a bang our group had a wee ringing trip to Ireland. I hadn't been to Ireland since I was little and it was great to be back again. I love Ireland, the people, the music and the pints!

We enjoyed a great week catching Black-headed gulls, Common gulls and Herring gulls. We saw some fantastic wildlife including 20+ Great Northern Divers, 10 Iceland gulls, 1 Kumlien's gull, Hooded Crows and a rather smart looking Black Guillemot flying up river in the centre of Dublin!

Kumlien's Gull (Zac Hinchcliffe)

Iceland Gull (Zac Hinchcliffe)

In total 19 Black-headed, 1 Common and 4 Herring gulls were ringed, all of which were caught by hand. Before heading to Ireland permission was obtained from the harbour master, an Irish permit was sought and the local police in Galway were informed of our ringing activities.

Black-headed Gull

The trip was not just about ringing though as we all enjoyed a relaxing break after a hectic year. We spent most nights listening to the live Irish music that fills the quaint little pubs and bars and of course we could't go a trip to Ireland without sampling some of their famous Guinness too! Some top banter and Irish 'jigging' was had by all!

The 2012 Group (with Heather behind camera)

What a great start to the year and here's hoping that the rest of 2012 is as good. Thanks to everyone who came on the trip.

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