Nov 27, 2011

Visit from Greenland

This weekend Urbpop Bergen got visit from Morten Helberg to make future plans for the urban gull project, take a look at collected data, plan the Morocco and Western Sahara expedition in February and of course ring and read gulls. The weather forecast for the weekend was extreme weather with heavy rain and strong winds from west reaching over 20 m/s. A really promising weather that could produce a gull rarity.

Saturday was used to catch Mews and Herrings. We also got our 9th Black-headed Gull of the year, a 1Y male. On Sunday the rarity appeared in the city centre park. We had only been 5 minutes at the site when Morten Helberg shouted YES and held a very white gull in his hands. We all run towards him and had a close look at a beautiful 1Y Iceland Gull! The strange thing is that yesterday we in Bergen made a bet with Morten on who would be the first to catch and ring an Iceland Gull. Five minutes before walking into the park we ensured that this bet still was on and decided that if we found an Iceland Gull today the bet would be a draw and the next one would be valid. So we have to keep our eyes open for a new white gull.

When the bird was ringed, measured, sampled for some blood and photographed we released it and started to catch Herring gulls. In just 10 minutes or so the Iceland Gull was back and could almost be hand-feed. This Iceland Gull is the third to get a colour ring in Norway, the first was ringed in Kristiansand 22nd of January 2004, and the second in Flekkerøy an island outside Kristiansand 22nd of November 2008. There are no readings of any Norwegian ringed Iceland gulls other than on the same ringing location the days after.

Spread wing of Iceland Gull J8Y6.

Morten Helberg, Christian Pederesen and the ringed Iceland Gull 10 minutes after it was ringed.

This picture was taken after we had given the Iceland Gull supper.

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