Stephen 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 on Little Cumbrae. At the time of tagging he weighed 840g and has a wing length of 40.4cm. He is a very steady gull and was our easiest gull to tag and hardly tried to bite when getting his tag fitted. Stephen can be identified in the field by his colour ring 11R:C.
Movements for 2017 below
After Stephen was tagged he headed to Little Cumbrae where it looks like he either has a nest or roosts there at night time. He has been spotted back at Castle Semple on a daily basis and has almost been recaptured when the Tag-n-Track team went to catch more gulls and he swooped in to the trapping area to grab a slice of bread.
Stephen started his migration on Tuesday the 8th of August at 0927. Stephen left Little Cumbrae and started flying south west. He flew over Kildonan on the Isle of Arran at 1031 and was south of the Kintyre peninsula at 1236. He reached Northern Ireland’s shores at 1339 flying over Waterfoot. He continued flying south west over Ballymena, Newport Trench and Moy before arriving in an area south of Benbarb at 1647. He remained there until 2052 where he then flew south over the border into the Republic of Ireland to Lough Muckno where he stopped to sleep at 23.55. He was still there at 0658 on Wednesday morning before heading south to feed near Kilmanham Wood for a few hours. At 1006 he was back on the move and flew to Drumbulsk and remained in that area until 1930. He then flew to an area of water near Donaghpatrick arriving at 2039.
Stephen flew down from Trim to County Tipperary on the 13th of August (see first map below). He then went back on himself to County Kilkenny although he returns to roost at a waterbody in the Lisheen Mine.
Map updated Map 28/08/17 Stephen has been busy foraging in the last week with the odd wee trip to a new area. He still returns to the mine to roost at night.
Map updated 04/09/17 Stephen has settled into a regular foraging routine and is making full use of the fields in the area surrounding his roosting site.
Map updated 15/09/17 Not much has changed with Stephen in the last week. He is still foraging in fields in County Kilkenny and roosting on Lisheen Mine. Stuart is now in Ireland and we are wondering if he will meet up with Stephen.
Map updated 21/09/17 Stephen has set up a regular routine and is foraging and roosting in the same areas.
Map updated 29/09/17 Not much has changed with Stephen in the last week. He seems to be happily doing his thing. I wonder if the predicted northernly winds next week will push him and the other gulls in Ireland south. We will just have to wait and see.
Map updated 06/10/17 No change with Stephen this week. We are wondering now that Stuart has left Ireland whether this will be Stephen’s wintering spot or if he too will head south.
Map updated 13/10/17 Stephen is still doing his thing in Ireland.
Map updated 27/10/17 Stephen survived Storm Orphelia and is still doing his thing in Ireland. The colder weather has started to come in so he might still yet follow Stuart south.
Map updated 02/11/17 We haven’t heard from Stephen’s tag this week so far. We reduced the download rate on it as it wasn’t charging properly due to the lack of sunlight. If we have a few sunny days we should hear from him soon.
Map updated 10/11/17 Stephen’s tag updated on the 9th of November and he is still sticking to his regular routine.
Map updated 24/11/17 Stephen has moved south with the cold weather…but only to the County Cork coast. He is now hanging about in the estuary where Gully MacGullface spent his time in Ireland.
Map updated 01/12/17 Stephen is still down on the coast and has spent time foraging out at sea. Will he get itchy feet now with the cold weather?
Map updated 07/12/17 Stephen is still busy foraging off the coast of Ireland. He will be riding out his second storm today so hopefully he will be somewhere safe.
Map updated 13/12/17 Stephen has left Ireland after nearly 4 months and has flown to France. He too left at the weekend during all the cold weather and is currently hanging about in Brittany at Roscoff, the area where Flyback arrived in France many months ago.
Jon and Kathryn Trinder, Isabella, Ruthie Thomson, The Hammonds, , Steven Johnston, Ian Sutherland
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