Jan 18, 2012

The white winged invasion continues

The first two weeks of the new year here in Bergen have given us the greatest influx of White-winged gulls ever recorded. At this writing, 18 Iceland Gulls (Larus glaucoides) and 4 Glaucous Gulls (Larus hyperboreus) have been seen in the county of Hordaland in 2012. Further north in Norway the numbers are higher with over 24 Iceland Gulls in Uthaug harbour outside Trondheim on the 15th of January and 25 individuals on Smøla (a bit south of Trondheim) on the 16th of January. Of the 18 Iceland Gulls observed in our county, 8 are adults, 1 third winter, 5 second winter and only 4 first winter. In previous years, the first winter birds were clearly dominating. When the adult Iceland Gull was seen at the island of Fedje on January 8th, it was over ten years since the previous record. Strangely enough, this was at the exact same location at Mulevågen, Fedje.

Since the last blog post, two more white-winged beauties have been ringed in Bergen. First a second winter Iceland Gull was ringed in the city centre lake on the 12th of January. After a failed attempt on our lunch break, we managed to catch it on the second trial after work. This second winter is the first second-winter bird to be ringed in Norway and the 12th Iceland Gull in total to be ringed in Norway.

J8Y7 the 12th Iceland Gull to be ringed in Norway

On the 16th of January, the most eager twitcher in Bergen called and said that there were two Glaucous Gulls in the city centre park. In addition to JP370, which had been in park every day since ringing on the 3rd of January, a second winter Glaucous Gull was present. This new one was an easy catch and I think we only used minutes before we had it and could measure, ring and take blood samples. Measurements suggests that this new one is a female.

JP363 a nice second winter Glaucous Gull

JP370 is still present in the park, terrorising the Herring Gulls.

The adult Iceland Gull from the island of Fedje 8th of January. The first adult in over ten years in our county.

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