Tag-n-Track is an exciting new bird tracking project & is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Greater Renfrewshire and Inverclyde LEADER & Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. Tag-n-Track is a bird tracking project which will use satellite tags to track Lesser Black-backed Gulls during the breeding season and on their migration.
Why are we doing this? Well gulls are the not the most popular of species but underneath the usual stereotypes they have an interesting life history which we want to demonstrate. Up to 18 individual LBB Gulls will be tagged over the next two years and we will be able to follow their movements. We are also hoping to tag Barn Owls to study their dispersal within the park.
As well as following the gulls we will be hosting various events such as bird ringing demonstrations, hosting workshops, delivering a schools programme and developing various volunteer opportunities such as camera trap monitoring.
The TnT Project has been funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Greater Renfrewshire and Inverclyde LEADER and Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.
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Roger and Roland have reconnected We lost contact with Roger and Roland at the start of the month due to the tags finding it difficult to get enough sunlight to charge. Both came back online within a few hours of each other and we are happy to report that it looks like they are both doing well. They are both still in Portugal with Roland up at Matosinhos and Roger further south near Torrão. This is particularly good news for Roger as we had previously posted about him carrying an injury to his foot. Both gulls current maps can be seen below. #TagnTrack #TeamGull #MontheGulls
Gull Bombed! One of the TnT Team was away at the weekend and whilst admiring the view and taking pics she was photobombed by this very obliging gull who then went on to have selfies taken with at least 20 visitors. Can you guess the location and the species? #Busmansholiday #Alwaysworking #TeamGull #TnT #MontheGulls
Bird Ringing Workshop A group of pupils from St Stephen's Higher Biology Class visited the TnT Team and the Rangers yesterday at Greenock Cut. They were learning about different surveying techniques and we delivered a bird ringing workshop for them which is a perfect example of a mark, release and recapture survey. The pupils saw Great Tits and Reed Buntings in the hand and learnt that the bird that all ringers fear is the nippy wee Blue Tits. Both Hayley and Hannah sacrificed some of the skin of their fingers as they showed how the plumage brightness for this species differs between the sexes. The Reed Buntings were the star of the show though as the males are just finishing off developing their black heads ready for the mating season. Their head feathers grow in chestnutty in colour and the ends abrade away to the black underneath. You can see in the photo below that this male has almost completed his moult. #TnT
Roger has been spotted for the fourth time! It is also the second time he has been spotted in the Sebutal Municipality region of Portugal just south of Lisbon. It was Gilberto Pinelas who took this lovely photo of him! You may also remember that it was Gilberto who took the photos of Flyback way back in August, thank you Gilberto! It is clear from this photo however that Roger has a swollen foot. We are unable to see the cause of this however otherwise he looks healthy so hopefully it won’t cause him any harm.
ARCHIE UPDATE Archie, The Brown Bull Gull, has been spotted and photographed in France by Philippe Birac who noticed his colour ring on the 25th of February at Pointe de Grave, Verdon Sur Mer in France. This is the area that Archie has been hanging out in since December and is the second time he has been spotted here. Phillippe's photo is below and you can see that Archie still has his spotty winter head. Archie was identified by his colour ring and there is no sign of his tag which is great as it shows it isn't affecting him at all. #TagnTrack #TnT #MontheGulls #TeamGull
THE GULLS ARE BACK IN TOWN The first Lesser Black-backed Gulls have been spotted at Castle Semple Loch this afternoon. Four adults were spotted in amongst the ducks, gulls and swans. However, none of them are members of #TeamGull but it certainly shows that spring is on the way and it won't be long until Stephen, Roger and co are spotted back at the Loch. #MontheGulls #TnT #TagnTrack
Snow update The Tag-n-Track and Estate Team are based up at Barnbrock Farm and we haven't made it in to the office since Tues. We decided to head up today as the main road is fairly clear but soon realised we would have to walk in when we pulled into our road. Some of the drifts are 5ft deep and we almost lost Lady the Staffie as she went chasing snowballs. The giggles from us as we sank in could be heard for miles. However, we are a dedicated band of workers and made it in and have enough chocolate, coffee and dog biscuits to last us until home time plus a stack of work to do. #snowmaggedon #TagnTrack #IwanttobeinPortugalwiththegulls #TnT #MontheGulls
Just a wee reminder that our events are not happening this weekend.
BIRD RINGING EVENTS CANCELLED I'm afraid that the weather is just too bad to run our events this weekend. The Rangers tried to get to Muirshiel yesterday but the road is blocked by drifting snow. Same goes for Greenock Cut today. Check out the photos on Clyde Muirshiel's Facebook page. We apologise but i'm sure you all understand that after the snow we have had over the last few day that the safety of visitors, staff and the birds is paramount. Our next dates are in April but we will see if we can run any later on in March. Thank you all for your support. Hayley and Hannah. #snowmaggedon #beastfromtheeast #MontheGulls #TagnTrack #TnT
ROLAND UPDATE We may have been hit with the whitestuff today but that hasn't stopped one of our gulls from starting his return journey. He'll be in for a surprise though if he hotfoots it back as this snow is to be about for a few days more. Roland spent the winter period down at Aveiro in Portugal. We unfortunately lost contact with him on the 10th of Jan but when he came back online on the 24th of Feb he was still in this region. Over the last couple of days since he has headed north up the coast past Porto and is currently hanging out in Matosinhos. So far he is following his outward route and we look forward to seeing if he continues to do so or if, like Gary, it's just a little movement for now. #TagnTrack #TeamGull #Monthegulls
TBT to last year when we caught a stunning male Sparrowhawk at Muirshiel during one of our events. Next Bird Ringing demos will be on the 3rd of March at Greenock Cut and the 4th of March at Muirshiel visitor centre.