Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring migration on the coast

Yesterday was looking very promising for migration on the Belgian coast (winds from the southeast), so I headed there, and a nice day it turned out! More than 70 people enjoyed a great day, with the following highlights: 2nd cal Pallid harrier, 4 Caspian terns, Gull-billed tern, Osprey, Montagu’s harrier, Black kite, Merlins, 40+ Ring ouzels, Purple heron, … plus a nice supporting cast of thousands of swallows, even more Meadow pipits, and also, hundreds of LBBG’s. By midday migration slowed down, and I went to the beach to find some gulls, and – despite the many tourists – I was able to find some colour-rings. Highlights were two French-ringed LBBG’s (picture of one of them below), unfortunately one of the rings was too dirty to be read completely. Other rings were all Herrings from the nearby breeding colony, including a 13 year old bird.
After the beach I went to Oostende, and managed to read four more rings (all Herrings, two Belgian colour-rings and two metal rings).

People watching spring migration on top of the dunes.

A small flock of resting gulls on the beach of Zeebrugge.

Red 248N (P.J. Dubois), a French-ringed bird (I'm waiting for details on this bird), my first bird from this project!

The fish market of Oostende, especially in winter a good place to find ringed gulls, but there are always some birds around.

Blue FBA.D (E. Stienen), this five-year old bird can be found very often near the fish market of Oostende, I first saw it there in 2007.


  1. Hi Simon
    The french ringed LBBG Red ring/yellow code 248N was also seen five times in Madrid last winter (last sighting on 06-April-2010)
    If you want I can send you the life history and a picture at Colmenar Viejo landfill site on 29-08-2009
    Best regards
    Juan M. Ruiz

  2. Hi Juan,

    thanks fot this info! I would be most happy to get the life-history and picture of this bird (you can send them to simonfeys"at" Nice to see that these birds can be picked up at different locations during their migration!