Oct 14, 2011

Ringing of Glaucous Gull and more visitors from north

After an unsuccessful attempt to catch the Glaucous Gull yesterday we had a new go during our lunch break today (13th of October). When we came to the city centre lake there was no white winged gull to see, we searched the roofs, feed out two or three fresh bread and waited but the bird seemed to have disappeared. We had seen worrying headlines in the newspaper in the morning that a festival had opened the night before and used huge amount of fireworks. This seemed a likely explanation of the disappearance and we concluded that we had been happy to just see this huge white winged gull. By way of consolation we catched two Herring Gulls and got a new reading of a Mew Gull ringed by Nils Helge Lorenzen in Tromsø. When we looked this Mew Gull up in the database we saw that it was ringed just eight days earlier, which means that it has travelled the 1200 kilometres in the shortest time we in Bergen have recorded.

This 1Y Mew Gull (J7C9) migrated the 1200 kilometres from Tromsø to Bergen in eight days

In the evening we decided to just grab a few Mew Gulls at Tveitevannet, a lake in an urban area south of Bergen. When we went down the path the first sight that met us was a huge white gull sitting between the Mew Gulls. The Glaucous Gull was still present in Bergen! Other people feeding the gulls had also noticed this large white gull because it had dominated the whole feeding place and had chased and stolen food from the smaller ones. We also saw it was possible to come quite close to it and when feeding out fresh white bread we were able to catch it. This is the first ringed Glaucous Gull in Hordaland county ever and we believe there have been just a few ringed in Norway south of Trondheim. When ringing and measuring this lovely bird we both agreed that it must be very big, but since none of us have any experience with this species it's difficult to say what kind of sex it might be. We took blood samples as we do for all our gulls so a DNA analysis will give us the correct answer later. It will be really exiting to see if it is observed elsewhere or if it will stay in Bergen the rest of the winter.

The Glaucous Gull minutes before it was captured and ringed

Wing of Glaucous Gull JN666.Head of Glaucous Gull JN666.

After our white winged friend had got it's freedom again we decided to explore a new possible place for reading and catching gulls - the landfill used by the entire Bergen city in Rådalen. This site has not been used as a gull site before since most garbage are burnt here, but a guy working at the place gave us a tip that there are gulls and they flock around the organic dump. Today the organic dump was not to crowed with gulls. Only a handful of Great Black-backed Gulls and 30-40 Herring Gulls, but one of the Herrings was ringed and paid for the effort of driving here. It turned out that this one also was ringed outside Tromsø as a pullus this spring by Nils Helge Lorenzen.

1Y Herring Gull J2400 ringed right outside Tromsø as a pullus 1220 kilometres from Bergen

When we opened our mailboxes well at home we also saw a message saying that one of our Bergen ringed 1Y Mew Gulls had been seen right outside Stavanger. This is our third 1Y Mew Gull observed in the same area. A map can summarize the day.

Red line: Mew Gull J7C9 and Herring Gull J2400 both ringed in Tromsø. Blue line: Mew Gull J6K3 ringed in Bergen and read in Sandnes 170 kilometres to the south