19th July

Portland Bill
Mediterranean Gull c50etc, Black-headed Gull 1e, Sand Martin 10e, Yellow Wagtail 1.

Ringed Plover 17, Dunlin 22, Sanderling 3, Curlew 1, Redshank 2, Swift 45s.

The now customary early autumn arrival of Mediterranean Gulls has seen many hundreds gathering at Ferrybridge and off the Bill; those at the former are very easy to check for rings - this juvenile from a couple of days ago had been ringed as a nesting on 26th May in Vendée, western France, and was evidently the first of this year's ringed youngsters to have been seen outside France © Debby Saunders:

Talking of ringed gulls, we've also received an update from Terry Coombs on happenings on the harbour breakwaters. An early trip to this breeding colony of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls saw 30 nestlings ringed on 15th June but, in the light of avian influenza outbreaks elsewhere, it was considered prudent to shelve plans for further visits to the colony. Among the sightings of colour-ringed birds reported from elsewhere this year, the highlights have been Portland-reared Great Black-backs (both ringed in 2012) found breeding on Brownsea Island, Poole Harbour, and on Guernsey: who knew this sort of thing happened? - we just assumed that after a few years of wandering around they'd eventually return and settle down to breed in their natal colony. Among the wanderers there's been a sighting just a few days ago of a Great Black-back at Slapton Sands, south Devon, that had been seen previously at Ostende, Belgium - the furthest east any of the Portland gulls has been sighted. Terry's blog Portland Gulls contains plenty more information about these and other sightings of colour-ringed birds from the breakwater.