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Gully MacGullface the last gull to be tagged

Gully MacGullface was our twelfth gull to be tagged and was hand caught in Lochwinnoch. Unfortunately Gully passed away in Spain on the 3rd/4th of November.

Gully MacGullface is an adult male Lesser Black-backed Gull.  He was hand caught at Castle Semple Loch on the 8th of July.
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 on Little Cumbrae.  At the time of tagging he weighed 840g and has a wing length of 41.3cm.  Gully MacGullface can be identified in the field by his colour ring 19S:C.



After Gully MacGullface was released he headed to Little Cumbrae, where like a number of the other gulls it looks like he has a nest. It is early days data wise at the moment to see where he has favourite foraging places but he has made visits to Hunterston Power Station. We will keep you all updated on his movements.

Gully MacGullface has returned to Renfrewshire after spending five days in Ayrshire. He has been seen back at the loch but more surprisingly he has taken to roosting on the same Malcolm’s building in Linwood that Flyback nested on.  He is not the only gull to do this.  Roger has started roosting there too.  Will they both head off to migrate to the same place?


Map updated 28/08/17 Gully is now in the Republic of Ireland. He started his migration on the 20th of August where he was picked up just off the coast of Maidens in South Ayrshire at 2102 and arrived just off the coast of Ballycastle at 0004 on the 21st. He then continued a meandering flight over Lisnamuck and Labby before arriving at Lough Neagh at 1919 that day where he has roosted for five days. Over the weekend he flew into the Republic of Ireland and is hanging out in County Meath and roosting on Lough Sheelin.

Map updated 04/09/17 Gully has certainly been busy in the last week.  He spent a few days feeding around Navan and Trim in the same area that Stephen had been feeding in in previous weeks.  That lead us to believe that he might head south and meet up with Stephen but he has had other plans. He headed south into Kildare and travelled up to Liffey.  Over the weekend he headed south-east to the coast at Saltmills and then headed west to Dungarven.  Is he going to head to Wales?

Map updated on 15/09/17 Gully is enjoying himself in the south of Ireland.  Everyday he heads off on a foraging trip from his roosting site of the Pilmore coast and heads into fields in County Cork or County Waterford.  Some nights he fancies a change of scene and roosts near Dungarven.  Stuart has recently headed into the Republic and it will be interesting to see if he meets up with either Gully or Stephen.

Map updated 21/09/17  Not much has changed for Gully in the last week.  He is still roosting at Dungarvan and foraging near Cappoquin.

Map updated 29/09/17 Gully, like the other gulls in Ireland, has settled into a routine.  It will be interesting to see if he would move south with the predicted northernly winds.

Map updated 06/10/17 Gully is still following the same routine.  We thought he might have been pushed south this week like Stuart but he seems quite content at the moment.

Map updated 13/10/17 No change with Gully.  He’s still sticking to his routine.

Map updated 27/10/17 Gully is still hanging out in his favourite spots.  He and Stephen survived Storm Ophelia despite the high winds.  We thought this might encourage them to head south afterwards but they seem fairly settled.

Map updated 02/11/17 Gully MacGullface had been living in the south of Eire since the 4th of September. He left the coast at 1330 on the 29th and flew straight over the sea. He was picked up off the coast of Cornwall at 1632 and off the coast of Brittany at 1836. Most of our gulls then head across the Bay of Biscay to Spain but not Gully. He continued over the sea passing Spain at 0552 on the morning of the 30th. He then flew all the way down the sea and at some points was 250km away from the Portuguese coast. He then made a turn east at 2244 on the evening of the 30th and made landfall at the south west corner of Portugal at 0653. This journey took him 40 1/2 hours. After spending a day at Sages Gully is now on the move again and was last picked up near Quarteira.

Map updated 10/11/17 After making his epic journey to Portugal Gully MacGullface has now crossed the border in to Spain and has been spending some time foraging in El Rompido. This is the same direction that both Stuart and Atty took before heading to Morocco. Will Gully follow?

Map updated 07/12/17 I’m afraid I have to report that Team Gull has lost a member. Sadly Gully MacGullface has passed away in Spain. He arrived in Spain in early November and was located at a fish farm. We noticed on the 13th that we had stopped getting downloads from Gully’s tag as well as a distinct lack of movement. After a bit of investigation work from our tag guys we discovered that Gully had died on the 3rd/4th of November. We had been told that the tag was going to sleep and would stop working as it was not being able to charge but we then got a signal last week, probably because the tag had been turned back over and was able to charge again using its solar panel. After a discussion with members of the Clyde Ringing Group, one of it’s members, Iain, managed to contact some local birders in Spain. Jose Manuel got in touch and armed with the last known coordinates he headed out to the marsh where we believed Gully to be. He very quickly found Gully’s coloured ring and then spent an hour going round in circles before he found the remains of Gully and his tag. Looking at our data we summise that Gully died not long after arriving at the fish farm, potentially being caught in netting. After a few days he was then removed and left nearby when he was then picked up and scavenged by a Marsh Harrier. It’s sad news to know that this is the end of Gully MacGullface after making his migration from Lochwinnoch, into Ireland and then into Portugal and Spain but unfortunately there are many dangers that our gulls face. We are extremely grateful to Jose who recovered his tag and we were able to track it’s flight back to the UK where it landed in our office on Monday. We should be able to redeploy the tag next year. For now we will remember Gully MacGullface and his massive contribution to the Tag-n-Track project. He was a popular gull with all the pupils we worked with and has provided a vast amount of data for us to analysis. RIP Gully MacGullface.

Gully MacGullface’s sponsors

Sean Haston of On Your Bike, Millport, Madonna Livingstone, Gourock Primary School





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