Iceland Gulls Visit Glamorgan

Iceland Gull is a rare visitor to East Glamorgan, and resides on our list of description species.  Gulls may be aged using combinations of  plumage, bill markings, eye and leg colour, so with some diligent field notes and digital images, we have evidence of a number of different individuals present this winter.  To date, birds have been seen at Cosmeston, Dowlais, Kenfig NNR, Ogmore, Pen-y-Bryn, Ponsticill Reservoir, Sker and over the border at Aberavon and Gower.

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Iceland Gulls, by Jeff Slocombe

These local visitors are part of a national influx demonstrated on BirdTrack.   This has been typified by exceptional numbers on the Outer Hebrides, with up to 67 counted at one location on Lewis over the weekend! The influx is reflected in both the reporting rate and map for BirdTrack records in 2012.

The map makes for an interesting comparison with the map for 2011, clearly showing that there has already been a wider geographic spread of records this year than for the whole of 2011. Particularly noticeable are the higher number of records from the coasts of Ireland, Wales and western Scotland.

Explore All Your Records in BirdTrack

BirdTrack is an online facility for observers to store and manage their own personal bird records.  By pooling data from recorders across the Britain and Ireland, patterns in bird migration movements and distributions are revealed,  supporting species conservation at local, regional, national and international scales.

The service continues to develop and its now possible to explore all your records, including any you submitted directly to Bird Atlas 2007-11, via BirdTrack.

The default filter in the Explore My Records tool selects all your BirdTrack and Atlas records, or you can use the Project filter (highlighted by the red arrow, right) to single out your records from one of the two projects.  Your records are summarised in a table; from here you can navigate to various graphs and maps, or download the records you’ve chosen.

If you are using BirdTrack already then you may find these new features a great way of managing and reviewing your own personal data.  If you are not a BirdTrack user yet, then there’s never been a better time to get started.

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