Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Thursday 26 December 2013

A wanderer returns

On 11th April 2012, I had the good fortune to record a North Thames Gull Group C-R Herring Gull on our bungalow roof. For some strange reason, there was a spate of six or seven C-R birds recorded during that month. My records show that Orange/black HJ7T. was ringed, as a 2nd cy, at Pitsea on 23.01.2010, my sighting on 11.04.2012 being the first, in the UK, since that date (there were, however, three reports from France in the period between these dates)

HJ7T. - on our bungalow roof (11th April 2012)
On Christmas morning, I was outside chucking some scraps up onto the roof of our extension, when I noticed an orange C-R on one of the assembled Herring Gulls which were squabbling over the food. I rushed inside and grabbed my camera, but by the time I got back the feeding frenzy had died away and I managed just a poor flight shot, as the bird swept overhead - the ring almost covered by the contour feathers of its' body.
Now a lovely looking adult - the ring remained tantalisingly unread during my first encounter
So this morning, armed with camera gear and a huge tray of Christmas dinner left-overs, I once again went through the ritual of chucking the food up onto the extension roof (It's a felted flat affair - I'm sure you know what I mean) It worked like a charm, within seconds there were gulls arriving from all directions and there, in their midst, was a gleaming adult with a bright orange ring. Camera up and ready to go. The majority of my efforts were totally useless but, as with most of my photographic attempts, I managed to get a shot that allows the ring code to be read - job done!
HJ7T. - not too shabby a result with my vintage equipment and total lack of skill
Once I discovered that this was a bird that I'd previously seen in Vine Close, I checked through my files to see what time period had elapsed? Site loyalty is something which I find fascinating; was this bird hatched locally or is Vine Close on some sort of Herring Gull "Grand Tour"? (Taking in Pitsea, Dumpton, Boulogne and the Nord pas de Calais)
So what if I failed to get the whole bird in the shot? Artistic interpretation - call it creative cropping?
I have somewhat neglected birding over the passed couple of years and feel that I've rather missed a trick here and there. I used to get a great deal of enjoyment from visiting Ramsgate Harbour and the under cliff. I have made a promise, to myself, that in 2014 I will once more put in a few hours, each week purely for the purpose of watching our local bird life. Like all New Years' resolutions - quite how long this lasts will probably depend on a number of factors, none more important than am I seeing enough to warrant my efforts? If I do little else, the chance to get involved with a bit more "ring recording" will be a nice distraction away from the conundrums posed by the local freshwater fisheries.

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