Gary is an adult male Lesser Black-backed Gull. He and his mate nest on the roof of Greenock Police Station
and he was our second gull to be tagged on the 18th of May 2017. This year he had three eggs and the chicks hatched out on the 31st of May. However, during our weekly breeding monitoring checks his nest, which was in one of the roof drainage channels, was found to have been moved by heavy rainfall and there was no sign of the chicks. Chicks are very good at hiding and when we returned a week later we found two chicks within the vicinity of the nest. At the time of tagging he weighed 845g and has a wing length of 39.3cm. He wears a colour ring, 9P5:C, which helps to identify him in the field. Gary was named by St Joseph’s Primary School in Greenock.
Movements for 2017 below
Gary likes to head out into the countryside to forage for food and has been spotted in fields amongst large congregations of gulls who are following tractors which are ploughing, cutting and spreading slurry. He mainly stayed within Inverclyde until his chicks hatched and since then has been making regular forays north across the Clyde.
With his two chicks now fully fledged and independent Gary has started to migrate. On the 29th of July Gary started to move south and spent most of the day foraging around the Beith/Lugton area before moving to the Stewarton area in the early hours of the 30th. At 1545 on the same day he was recorded foraging in fields outside Kilmarnock before spending the evening foraging in fields outside Mauchline. From 2100 on the 30th till 0300 on the 31st he slept on the roof of a woodworks just outside Cumnock before heading further south again. He spent the morning following the route of the A76 and along the A75 and from 1300 till 2020 he was around the River Esk/Solway Firth area. He has continued to follow the road network down the M6 to Penrith where he spent two days just on the border of the Lake District National Park near Askham. On the 3rd of August Gary was off again and flew over the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Peak District National Park. He arrived in the area surrounding Burton upon Trent and has spent the last few days foraging in the local area.
Map updated on 28/08/17 Gary continues to hang out in the West Midlands. He has moved west of Burton upon Trent and now favours Grindley and the surrounding area. He has taken to roosting on Blithfield Reservoir and is regularly foraging in fields. Just goes to show that the gulls are a lot more terrestrial than people realise.
Map updated on 04/0917 Gary has still been foraging in fields but in the last day or so has left Stafford and has flown through Market Drayton and Whitchurch to feed and has taken to roosting on Hurleston Reservoir.
Map updated on 15/09/17 Gary has moved up to an area called Eaton where he weathered out Storm Aileen this week. He spends alot of time moving between two wateer bodies and is still foraging in fields.
Map updated 21/09/17 Gary is still hanging about near Eaton and is roosting overnight at a quarry lake.
Map updated 29/09/17 Gary is still in middle England. He pretty much has a set routine and I wonder if the predicted northernly winds next week will push him further south.
Map updated 06/10/17 Gary is still in the midlands but he has now moved slightly south and is foraging and roosting between Chatcull and Copmere End.
Map updated 13/10/17 Gary is still hanging out in middle England. With the high temperature forecasted for this weekend he won’t be heading to sunnier climes anytime soon we think.
Map updated 27/10/17 We thought Gary would start to leave after the change in weather but he is enjoying himself in England too much at the moment.
Map updated 02/11/17 Is Gary on the move? He has left Stafford and skirted round Bridgenorth to Shrewsbury. He was last picked up today at 1230 heading into Wales.
Map updated 10/11/17 Well we thought Gary might have been making a move last week as he headed towards Shrewsbury however he is spending his time around the Whitechurch area. Maybe he is feeling unsettled with the cold weather?
Map updated 24/11/17 Gary looks like he is getting itchy webbed feet with a wee trip up to the coast and through Chester but he is still returning to some of his favoured haunts.
Map updated 01/12/17 Gary is heading south! After arriving in the Midlands at the start of August he has pretty much shown no signs of going anywhere else but today hehas headed south and is currently flying over Sherborne. Will he leave England? We just have to wait and see.
Map updated 07/12/17 We do wonder what goes through Gary’s head sometimes. He headed futher south last week and hung around at Sutton Bingham before almost doubling back on himself. He flew to Mells before heading east and was last picked up near Amesbury. Tour of England?
Map updated 13/12/17 Gary has finally left England and is suning it up in sunny Spain. He left at the weekend during all the cold weather and headed straight through France to Santander in Spain. He then travelled through Spain just like PC Bobby did the previous week. Both these birds nested on the same roof and have now travelled through Spain instead of going round the coast? Boy these gulls leave us with ore questions than answers. Gary is currently hanging out on a lake near Alange about 50km from the Portuguese border.
St Joseph’s Primary, Police Scotland, The Browns of Kelty Bridge, Judith Kent, Ruedi Nager
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