In January 2009, myself and Kane took a trip over to County Galway on the west-coast of Ireland for a few days. The purpose of the trip was to explore Nimmo's Pier and the surrounding area. Taking a look along the pier, it was clear that the numerous black-headed and common gulls present, looked more than catchable. The 4 of us arrived back from Galway yesterday evening after a highly productive trip. Spending just under a week in Galway, gave us enough time to catch quite a few gulls.
In total, 49 birds were caught consisting of 35 Common gull and 14 Black-headed gulls.
Birds were caught by hand and ringed on the left leg, so we could distinguish our birds, from other birds that already had rings on their right leg. Throughout the trip, we found that a few birds were already ringed and we soon had 5 different ringed birds. British ringed birds and the rest from Finland and Iceland; with just 1 ringed in Ireland. For more information on the movements of these birds, see kane's blog @ http://birdringing.blogspot.com/.
When we were ringing in Ireland, we needed to obtain an Irish ringing permit, as well as obtaining permission from the local police -'garda', just incase there were any reports of 4 guys catching gulls down in the harbour; as well as the harbour master.
Giving the birds a rest most days, enabled us to explore the rest of the surrounding area. This resulted in 2 Great Northern divers, 10 Hooded Crows and 2 Ring-billed gulls being seen.
A great trip was had by all, including the gulls. The Irish music, warming atmosphere and many a pint of Guiness made the trip all worthwhile. Except our flight home, which is what we can only say as being 'eventful'.
Many thanks to Kane Brides, Craig Brookes and Ciaran Hatsell for making the trip a huge success!