Friday, February 27, 2015

Old Cormorant

Colour-ringed Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, roosting along the Ria de Aveiro, near Bunheiro (Portugal) on February 24, 2015. Ringed as nestling at Lac de Grand-Lieu (Loire Atlantique, France) on June 16, 1998, by Loïc Marion. This is the birds’ first sighting.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Torreira - Sao Jacinto beached bird and mammal transect (February 25, 2015)

Striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba # 1 No, a Common dolphin Delphinus delphis

Tail entangled?

Striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba #2 No, scientists are still trying to ID this one...

Tail cut off? Carcasses were reported to CRAMQ, who picked them up this morning for investigation. Unfortunate for the Greater Black-backed gulls which had found them first.

Yet another domesticated animal on the transect, a dog.

Finally!! A glass float! With original Japanese oysters attached to it!?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Two rare gulls for Portugal

Iceland gull Larus glaucoides, second winter. Still residing near Murtosa today. I was informed it’s the American subspecies L. g. kumlieni, and it’s the second winter the bird appears at the cow dung rich meadow.

Caspian gull Larus cachinnans, first winter. Seen on two dates in January in the Aveiro region. Possibly the first record of this species for that area. Found by Pedro Moreira.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Last gull rings to be read at the Eirol landfill? (February 17, 2015)

Today the landfill of Eirol got visited by Pedro Moreira and me for another day of gull ring-reading. Beforehand we got informed that certain measures were going to be taken to take care of the gull problem. These measures initiated yesterday. In about half an hour we managed to read four rings, all on Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Then a falconer made its appearance, together with two Peregrine falcons and a gas cannon.

Adult male Peregrine falcon.

Gas cannon


The first panic among the circa 4000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 300 Black-headed Gulls was caused by the falconer’s female Peregrine that got flown around the site for a short while. After this it was the gas cannon that made the gulls decide to abandon the site. We were later informed that the falcon had also flown away. Its gps signal indicated it already had made its way to the coast within a few minutes, probably faster than any of the gulls. In the end it was the gas cannon that made the gulls completely abandon the landfill.

Empty landfill...

Peregrine kill, but from Eirol's own falcon.

Regular blog readers will already have gotten used to the presence of a Peregrine falcon on the Eirol landfill (see previous posts). That bird already successfully reduced the number of Black-headed gulls at the site. During the past couple of weeks this now 2nd cy bird had remained faithful to the site. Today we searched for prey remains left behind by that falcon and found remains of another four Black-headed gulls. However, we did not see the bird itself. The last observation of it came from the falconer, who informed us that yesterday, after releasing his own Peregrine, our young falcon came to attack it and defend its feeding ground.

The current bird eradication program is planned to continue for two months. I suspect it will also keep out the Black kites from the landfill, which are supposed to arrive during the second half of February, and have already proven to be successful in reducing gull numbers to zero there during summer.