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Stuart the island visiting gull 2018

Stuart was our eighth gull to be tagged and was hand caught in Lochwinnoch

Stuart is an adult male Lesser Black-backed Gull.  He was hand caught at Castle Semple Loch on the 29th 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 921.5g, our heaviest gull, and has a wing length of 41.6cm.  Stuart can be identified in the field by his colour ring 12S:C.

Click this link to see Stuart’s movements in 2017

Click this link to see Stuart’s movements in 2019

Movements from 2018 below


Map updated 18/01/18 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.

Map updated 18/04/18 Stuart is another one of our gulls that went offline while in Africa. We stopped getting updates at the beginning of November, however just yesterday he came back online and is heading for home! He is currently in Tangier in the north of Morocco! Stuart started his migration on the 9th of September and spent almost a month in Ireland before arriving in Morocco on the 13th of October. He has been away for just over 7 months now.we will keep you updated on his journey home!

Map updated 20/04/18 Stuart has arrived in the UK! When we last reported about Stuart he was in Tangier in Morocco on the 17th. He headed into Portugal and flew along the coast into northern Spain. He arrived in Salcombe in Devon this morning at 1004 after an epic flight of 31 hours across the Bay of Biscay and around the coast of France. That’s the quickest flight yet of one of our birds between the UK and Morocco. We think we need to start calling him “Super Stuart”.


Map updated 23/04/18 Stuart is in Wales! We were hoping for him to return over the weekend but after his long 31 hour fight over the Bay of Biscay he has decided to take it easy. He hung around near Plymouth on Friday before crossing the Bristol Channel into Wales. He then hung about around Carmarthen Bay and Bancyfelin over the weekend. Hopefully he’ll be well rested and will continue his journey soon.

Map updated 30/04/18 Stuary has made it over to the Republic of Ireland after spending 10 days in Wales.  He seems to be zooming north and hopefully will be home in a few days.

Map updated 02/05/18 Wednesday the 2nd of May saw the return of another member of Team Gull as Stuart touched down in Little Cumbrae. He left Morocco on the 17th of April and has since passed through Portugal and Spain before arriving in Devon after three days. He continued his flight up to south Wales where he spent 7 days resting up before heading into the Republic of Ireland on the 27th of April. He then picked up speed and flew into Northern Ireland after a wee stop at Navan then over Arran before returning to his nesting site. All in all it has taken him 16 days to return. Well done Stuart.

Map updated 21/05/18 Stuart has been busy foraging around Renfrewshire.  This year it looks like he has potentially swopped his nesting site as he is spending alot of time on the TNT roof in Linwood. Last year we believed he nested on Little Cumbrae.  Maybe something happened to his mate as he was so late back?

Map updated 31/05/18 It’s hard to pinpoint Stuart down and see if he is at a nest site this year.  Last year he was on Little Cumbrae but this year he initially was spending alot of time on the roof at Linwood where Flyback nested.  Over the last week he has been busy foraging at Lochwinnoch, in the fields on the high Greenock Road, in Greenock itself and up at the Gryfe Reservoir.


Map updated 13/06/18 As you can see Stuart is regularly foraging in the agricultural areas around Auchenfoyle.  In the last week the farmers have been cutting the silage and we have spotted large flocks of gulls in the fields.


Map updated 05/07/18 Stuart is at Castle Semple most days.  He even ran up and caught a slice of bread from us earlier today when we went out to try and tag another gull.  He has been hanging around Greenock but seems to be back on Little Cumbrae.

Map updated 11/07/18 Stuart is spending all is time either at Castle Semple where we see him most days and then returning to Linwood to roost on the roof of the TnT building.  With the likelihood that he doesn’t have chicks we wonder how long it will be until he is off.

Map updated 01/08/18 Stuart is still spending alot of time at Castle Semple where the numbers of gulls are building up at the moment.  We spotted him on Monday and he is looking well.

Map updated 10/08/18 Stuart is still spending his time going between Castle Semple and Linwood with the odd detour in between.  It’s been a few weeks since we spotted him though so keep your eyes peeled for his colour ring.

Map updated 13/08/18 So it looks like Stuart has left the village for another year. On Friday evening (10th) he was recorded up at Lapwing Lodge which has been one of his favourite haunts this summer when not in the village. By the early hours of Saturday morning he was picked up just north of Saltcoats and by 0530 he was south of Maybole. He headed inland towards Straiton before flying back up to Ayr where he was picked up at Mosshill Industrial Estate at 1138. He then headed back south to Kirkmichael and then onto Lendalfoot and towards Ballantrae before spending the night resting up in fields to the south of Girvan. He headed back upto Ayr on Sunday morning before heading south west to Patna where he was last picked up on St Xavier’s Primary school roof at 1322. He’s certainly having a tour of South Ayrshire at the moment!

Map updated 19/08/18 Stuart has started heading down to Dumfries. Is he heading off?

Map updated 31/08/18 Stuart is hanging about between Closeburn and Dumfries at the moment and like all the other gulls has settled into a routine.

Map updated 05/09/18  Stuart has left our shores and headed over to the Republic of Ireland.  Yesterday he was hanging about the mouth of the River Nith at the coast in Dumfries and Galloway near Caerlaverock.  He left at 1525 and 3 hours later he was just off the coast of Northern Ireland.  He continued flying all the way to Blackrock Cove in the Republic of Ireland at 2030.  He had a wee rest there before heading off in the early hours of today and he was last picked up at Ardee at 0738. Will he hang about in the same places he did last year? Lets wait and see.

Map updated 07/09/18 Stuart has moved further south into the Republic.  He has visited Lough Liffey again and is just north of Donard.

Map updated 29/09/18  Stuart is down in County Wexford.  He is travelling back and forth between roosting on the estuary and feeding either in the town at Nash Turn and in fields surrounding the town.

Map updated 03/10/18 We have a great update from Stuart’s tag, which has been offline, and he has now made it to Portugal for a second year and has been hanging out on our gulls favourite beach at Costa de Caprica. He is on the move again and was picked up at Sesimbra this morning. Where to next for him?

Map updated 05/10/18 Stuart has moved slightly further south in Portugal to the Praia da Comporta beach area. Is this the start of his trip to Morocco?

Map updated 07/10/18 Stuart is on his way to Morocco.  Over the last couple of days he has headed to the southern Portuguese coast and headed east into Spain.  He has continued along the coast line and is now heading across to Morocco.  Last year we lost contact with him when he reached Morocco so the same thing might happen again this year but don’t fear, his tag will still collect data and we will get the info when he comes back into Spain.

Stuart’s sponsors

Bute Bird Group, Jennifer Greenald, 1st Bridge of Weir Anchor Boys

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




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