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Flyback the local Gull

Flyback was our fourth gull to be tagged and was hand caught in Lochwinnoch

Flyback is an adult male Lesser Black-backed Gull.  He was hand caught at Castle Semple Loch on the 9th of June. 
As he was hand caught we don’t have any evidence of nesting behaviour but it is believed, by the movement data below, that he may have a nest in Linwood.  At the time of tagging he weighed 847.5g and has a wing length of 42.2cm.  He can be identified in the field by his colour ring number 10R:C.  Flyback’s name was suggested by Primary One pupil, Jasmine of Houston Primary School.

Click this link to see Flyback’s movements in 2018

Movements for 2017 below

After Flyback was tagged he headed to Linwood where he nested on the foor of the Malcolm’s building and regularly feed in nearby fields,

On Saturday the 22nd of July he was recorded around the Ayrshire coast and spent most of the day around that area before heading further south to Whithorn on Sunday the 23rd, where he was recorded at 5pm. One hour later on the same day he was recorded near the Isle of Man! At 2000 he was recorded off the coast of Bangor where he then flew through the Menai Strait, which separates the island of Anglesey from mainland Wales, reaching the end by 0200. He was then recorded at 0500 off the coast of mainland Wales, west of Snowdonia National Park.
Flyback continued south on Monday morning through Plymp and Llanybri in South Wales, travelling across the Bristol Channel where he was picked up at 0917. He arrived in Devon, flying over Launceston at 1119. At 1220 he was in the English Channel and arrived over Le Prat in Northern France at 1522. Less than 24 hours after leaving Scotland. He continued until arriving in an arable area south of Mespaul at 1730 to feed and was last recorded at 1926. He then turned around and headed north to the region of Saint-Pol-de-Leon where he spent 6 hours foraging and then returned to travelling south over land. He stopped to sleep in a field north of the town of Pleyben at 0630 on Tuesday the 25th till 1140. From there he continued further south reaching the coast of Penmarch at 1345. He has since spent the rest of Tuesday and up until 1408 yesterday (Wednesday the 26th of July) feeding in the Bay of Biscay where there are lots of fishing boats present. Flyback continued to feed off the coast of France until the 29th of July where he headed inland and spent time feeding near Quimper.  Late on on the 31st of July he started to head south again and flew across the Bay of Biscay to Northern Spain where he made landfall in the afternoon of the 1st of August at Cadevedo and continued travelling west to Foz before finishing up at Burela where he took time to rest up overnight.  He moved slightly futher west along the coast to San Cibrao where he was at 0542 that morning. He crossed the coastal border with Spain at 1808 on the 5th of August after travelling along the Spanish coast for a few days. He continued south over Porto before heading north again to rest up for a few hours and then turned back round south and was picked up on a lovely looking beach called Praia de Cortegaca at 0918 on the 6th of August.  He continued south for 170 miles reaching an area called Amora. He has then spent a couple of days flying up and down the beaches nearby.

Flyback spent the evening of the 12th of August resting up in the Portuguese estuary of Ribeira de Odiáxere. On Sunday morning he flew down to the coast of San Lorenzo where he hung about until 0914. Then he was off! He flew for 11 hours across the ocean, reaching a top speed of 54 mph, before arriving off the Moroccan coastal town of Casablanca at 2003. A distance of ~398 miles. Scottish Lesser Black-backed Gulls colour ringed by the Clyde Ringing Group have been sighted in Morocco in the past but this is the first tagged one we have had here. What is fascinating is he may not have finished his migration yet. He is alternating between feeding at a local dump and in the sea.


Map Updated 28/08/17 Flyback is still in Casablanca. He is following a regular foraging pattern and is alternating between feeding at a local dump and out at sea.














Updated map 04/09/17 Flyback has now been in Casablanca for three weeks and his foraging pattern is well established with his time still split between the local dump and the sea.

Map updated on 15/09/17 Flyback is still in Casablanca where he was briefly joined by Clyde this week although we don’t think they met up as Clyde was pretty determined to carry on down the coast.  Flyback is spending alot of time hanging about on a lovely stretch of beach and foraging out at sea.

Map updated 21/09/17 Flyback is still doing what Flyback does best and is enjoying the beach in Morocco and fishing out at sea.

Map updated 29/09/17 No change for Flyback this week.  He’s still doing his thing in Casablanca.

Map updated 06/10/17 Flyback is still doing his rounds in Casablanca.

Map updated 13/10/17 Nothing has changed with Flyback.  We are waiting to see if Stuart will join him in Casablanca after arriving in Morocco on Tuesday.

Map updated 27/10/17 After two and a half months in Casablanca Flyback has left the city and headed down the Moroccoan coast to Safi.  Has the arrival of other gulls pushed him south?

Map updated 02/11/17 Flyback has developed a regular routine in Safi just like he did in Casablanca.  He spends part of each day at the port and outside Safi in an agricultural area.

Map updated 10/11/17 Flyback is still in the same area and foraging in the same places.

Map updated 24/11/17 It has been a few weeks since we heard from Flyback’s tag.  We now believe there may be a network problem as our other gulls in Africa haven’t sent a download in the last few weeks either.  Hopefully this problem will be rectified soon.

Map updated 01/12/17 So we have heard that there was a network problem in Morocco which has now been fixed and we are just waiting to see if Flyback’s tag will now be able to send the info throught the mobile network.  If not we will have to wait until he leaves Morocco before all the data is downloaded. Fingers crossed.

Map updated 07/12/17 It’s looking like we will not be able to retrieve any data from the gulls in Africa until they move to a new mobile network area.  The tags work by getting location data sent to them via satellite then relaying the info back via the mobile network.  The tags are currently collecting data but due to the fault that happened in the mobile network last month they haven’t been able to send location data back to us.  Once they connect with a new mobile network we will receive all the data and see what the gulls have been up too. It’s a pity we don’t look like we will be getting this info in real-time but hopefully we will find out soon how they are doing.

Flyback’s sponsors

Houston Primary School, Melissa Davies, Andrew Currie, Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Glasgow Branch, Paisley Natural History Society, Jess Finn, Nigel Walker, Joan O’Brien

Would you like to adopt Flyback and see your name here?  Then found out how you can adopt him here
















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