Saturday, 11 August 2012

Killington Gulls 2012

Back in June Chris and I met up with Steve and his new trainee Jamie at Killington reservoir, Cumbria. It was time for the annual ringing of the Black-headed Gull colony that resides on the islands.

The chicks at Killington are ringed every year (see last year’s post). This year the team managed to round-up and ring over 230 chicks.

As part of Ciaran & Kane's Black-headed gull study the biggest and strongest chicks had darvics put on them along with the standard BTO metal rings. This is to allow the birds movements to be tracked via sightings sent in by the public, without the birds needing to be re-captured again. 

Sightings of these colour marked gulls (dark blue darvics with white digits) can be sent to bhgulls'@'

I always look forward to the seabird ringing season every year. Being in an active gull colony, gulls circling overhead, calling and squawking, even the smell of the air – I love it (must be the ringer in me!).

It’s always great fun running around after gull chicks. I especially love the slow motion chases through the water when you are only slightly faster than the gulls!

As always the nesting gulls on the island were all at different stages. Some chicks were already on the wing whilst some nests contained small chicks or even eggs!

A great day was had by the team and I hope that Jamie enjoyed his first gull ringing experience and that all of the biting, scratching and pooing hasn’t put him off coming back!

A very tired and smelly team!

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