North Thames Gull Group and Southern Colour Ringing Group
After 34 years of operating on Pitsea Landfill site catching gulls the North Thames Gull Group have taken their last catch on the site. The landfill is due to close in 2018 and already the food waste has reduced considerably meaning so have the numbers of gulls. The last catch was taken on Tuesday 13th of March 2018. Fittingly the last catch included an adult Mediterranean Gull so it was nice to finish on a good bird. However, although this is the end of the field work it is certainly not the end of the NTGG. In 2008 the group decided to attempt to answer the question “what will happen to the gulls using the tip when they close”. This means that the critical point has now been reached and we can now look at some analysis rather than field work. We have decided to compartmentalise our work into three phases, 1984 to 2008 which covers metal ringed birds only. This will give us some sort of base line but given the differences between recovery rates for metal ringed and colour ringed birds the main comparison will be between the next two periods. The second period will be 2008 to 2018 which makes a neat 10 years of colour ringing. The final period will be the sightings and birds recovered between 2018 and 2023 (initially a five year period). We may then consider a further five year period if we feel we still have enough gulls marked surviving to give us comparable data.
Renaming the North Thames Gull Group
With the imminent closure of the landfill tip at Pitsea, the gull work is coming to a close. With this in mind we have decided to re-name the North Thames Gull Group to something that better reflects our current and future activities.
The new focus of the group and the colour ringing activity that we can undertake over the next few years is likely to focus on the following species:
- Brent Goose cannon-netting and colour-ringing in Essex
- Grey Heron and Little Egret nestling colour-ringing in Essex and London
- Red Kite ringing and wing-tagging in Hertfordshire
- Possible colour-marking and/or satellite tracking of duck in London and Hertfordshire
We are essentially a cannon netting and colour marking group so we have decided to create a new name which reflects our new and future activities. After several ideas and suggestions we have decided on the new name of the Southern Colour Ringing Group (SCRG).
The North Thames Gull Group will continue as a group because sightings will continue to come in for many years. The NTGG web site will continue to manage all the sightings and data for the group and all gull sightings will be posted on the normal NTGG web site.