Sunday, February 12, 2012

Flight of the rings

As its the month of ring billed gulls I will now write yet another post about them. Perhaps I have some sort of ring billed gull stalker problem because these guys seem to show up just about anywhere. There is the Atlantic pond ring bill (Dell), the Gate cinema ring bill and the bird below is a ring bill I found across from the bus station. It is of course entirely possible that the later bird is the same individual scouting up and down the river but no matter.

As is the habit of ring bills, this one only stuck around for a few minutes, preferring to pursue the flocks of screaming black heads rather then show up for food directly (turns out gulls really like bits of leftover plaice, who knew!). Got some half decent flight shots.

Also some more shots of the Atlantic pond ring bill. Probably the same individual as before though its hard to say.

In other news I spotted my old friends the peregrines again, first I saw one sitting on a radio antennae (or something of the kind) by city hall and then a few minutes later I saw it first capturing a pigeon in mid air and then dragging it down with great effort to a nearby rooftop all the while being chased by both the other peregrine and a group of screaming gulls. Next the still alive pigeon continued to struggle for a couple of minutes with one of the peregrine’ s talons holding its wing firmly. The kill soon followed and the other peregrine started screaming at it for a portion. The pictures below, while hardly of super quality do quite nicely tell the story. Got to love bird theatre!


  1. Hi Leon,

    I enjoy your blog.

    You can tell whether the Ring-bills are different or not by the pattern of the ring on the bill :) If you check the pattern from the same side, it looks like you have at least 2 and possibly 3 different individuals. Check through your photographs. It's not an exact science but it can be used to determine whether you have one or multiple birds in the area.


    Mark Carmody

  2. Thanks for the tip! And the compliment, will check my photographs, hopefully my somewhat underdeveloped eye for detail will kick in, cheers!

  3. Great blog entry Leon. Did you manage to get the Glaucous Gull at Ballycotton Pier? He was a bit of a beast. Though the Little Gull was gorgeous.

  4. Thank you Floss!
    I did visit Ballycotton but as luck would have it the wind was too strong and the whole gang of rarities where in hiding. Best I saw was one iceland for about ten seconds, pity too, the little gull would have been a pleasure to see as well.


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