Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gull rings at the Eirol landfill, Portugal. August 28, 2013

On August 28, 41 rings were read at the Eirol landfill. Starting time 7:15 and working until 13:00, under an unbearable sun. A good number of gulls were present at arrival to the site. Although many more were arriving within the following 2-3 hours, the same amount of birds departed to a nearby lake and some back to the NW, the Ria de Aveiro and nearby beaches.  I’d guess that in total there were fewer birds present than during my previous visit on 21-8, roughly 4200.

I would expect there to be more birds by now, as LBBG migration currently is well on its way, so this surprised me a little. There might be a chance that the amount of exposed waste and the amount of waste disposed at the pit has become a limiting factor for the birds. A large part of the open dump has been covered with sand recently. Fyi:  I don’t mind this. To me it’s one of the interesting factors involved in following bird populations at their main artificial food supply.

LBBG rings were applied in Guernsey (16), Great Britain (9, excluding Paul Veron’s Guerney Gulls), The Netherlands (6), France (4), Belgium (2), Germany (1), Denmark (1) and Spain (1). The only ringed YLG that I could find was ringed in Spain.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A fresh start at the Eirol landfill near Aveiro, Portugal

Today, August 21 2013, during a morning visit to the Eirol landfill near Aveiro, Portugal, 36 gull-rings were read. The number of gulls was still relatively low, I suspect about 6500, including about 6100 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 400 Yellow-legged Gulls and only a few Black-headed Gulls. The number of white storks was impressive: well over 1000 took off and left the site around noon.

The only colour-ringed Yellow-legged Gull observed today.

Probably the first recorded Audouin's Gull Ichthyaetus audouinii in Eirol

In between foraging trips, the birds sleep, take a bath, preen their feathers or read a magazine

Dirty, but readable ring. One of many from Paul Veron (Guernsey)

These are not gulls, but White Storks

Around noon it became too hot for me and the gulls. Only a few hundred were still present when I left the site.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back in Portugal, on a trip through the interior...


Serra da Estrela

Corvus corax

First ski lift on a landfill?

Trail #1:  Rota do Poço do Inferno

The Iberian frog Rana iberica at trail #1.

European bee-eaters Merops apiaster near Sabugueiro, Serra da Estrela

Common House Martin Delichon urbicum nests in Belmonte

Cork oak Quercus suber, my favourite tree in Portugal, near Bogalhal Velho

Bogalhal Velho, abandoned medieval village

Train ride from Regua to Pocinho, along the Douro river

Old and abandoned train at Pocinho train station

Waiting room in Pocinho station

Turtle doves Streptopelia turtur on August 18, the first day of the fall hunting around Figueira, Lamego. About to go extinct in NW-Europe. Around us many were shot that day. Bullets were flying over our heads.

"O Papa-figos", the "fig-eater" (Golden oriole Oriolus oriolus)