Thursday, 15 August 2013

Cherry Blossom and other darvics

Old friend red-7P8 Mediterranean Gull, aka "Cherry Blossom", back on Seton Sands tonight; this her 10th return, age at least 12 yrs. Tonight with 2 other adults (below) in just a couple of hundred small gulls at pre-roost a while before dusk. Presumably same also amongst 6 birds there last week (3 ads), along with another returnee white-32A4 (Johan's link not updated with last year's records yet) - a very interesting bird now in 3rd-summer but still with some dark in primary tips - per Olsen & Larsson 25% of males and 50% of females have some short dark markings on outer webs in 3rd-win.

Lots of colour-ringed Sandwich Terns reported recently, 3 per Dave at Seton on 15 August were juvs red-UFH, red-ULK from Northumbs (ringed Inner Farne 12 July and 31 July, respectively) and ad white-EVL (colour-ringed on the Ythan on 19/07/11, but originally ringed on Coquet Island, Northumbs on 26/6/05), and also seen there on 17 July this year, so presumably breeding there. Also one of this year's juveniles at Musselburgh on 18 July, yellow-EPK, ringed at Forvie on 13 June, and the first dispersing bird seen away from there. Prior to that we had a lime over dark green at Musselburgh on 15-16 July, this being the first ever resighting from the 2002 cohort at Forvie, and another of the lime over red flavour (2008 cohort) at Seton on 10 August. A colour-ringed adult at Seton red over blue is also a Forvie bird (details awaited). Thanks to Dave Allan for most of these, and ringers Ewan and Chris for prompt details!

A Little Tern at Musselburgh in early July had a blue colour ring, thus may be a South Gare bird.

Going back to last year also recently discovered that the ringed Roseate on Seton rocks then (Rosy special ring 32/V0) had been ringed on Coquet Island on 9 July 2006, by Tom Cadwallender. This might be the fourth Roseate control/recovery from outside Lothian, two previous were local birds from Fife whilst the third was a 1973 recovery near Drem (?) of a bird ringed on Coquet in 1969.

So the usual picture with terns from north and south moving into the Forth; some do continue overland, another common theme here is the nocturnal movement heard every year from mid-August, first heard this time at 22:30hrs on Monday 12 August with a couple of Sandwich Terns move SW over the top of Blindwells. Normally just Sandwich Terns but also occasionally Common Tern, perhaps others also pass over?

Finally ought to mention recent BHG darvics, George spotted Norwegian white-J9J9 on Fisherrow beach on 29 July, Ian had seen it at Eskmouth on 23 July. Also at Musselburgh on 2 August Dave got white-J3CE, an old one first ringed at Rogaland (Norway) in 1994, colour ring added there on 8/4/12.

red-7P8 still present to 19 August, together with 3 ads including the one below, outer primaries already moulted; comparing notes with Norman suggests a minimum of 8 different individuals (5 ad, 2 3rd-yr, 1 2nd-yr) in the last week of so.


  1. Great to see these birds back and good shots too. It's epic failure for me in Med finding so far.
    They are certainly not as common at Musselburgh or Cramond as they have been in recent years.
    Would be interesting to find out how Buckhaven/Leven is faring just now.
    Hampshire had a flock of over 500 recently - that I would like to see.

  2. Thanks Stuart, I was in Fife a couple of weeks ago, inland from Largo Bay, a succession of roadsigns there to Buckhaven, Methil etc were just shouting out to me "Med Gulls"! No time to get there to check, but Letham pools were pretty impressive...

  3. Quick scan of the burn at 4pm today managed to get 4 adults including 7P8. Most I have seen at once locally.

  4. Wow, great images as usual Stuart, just seen them on your blog! A new angle, I have never captured anything like those wing stretches, lucky if mine are not asleep! Was the imm (3rd-sum/win) unringed?

  5. No rings as far as I could tell - I notice the Dutch bird was seen again at the burn yesterday.