Friday, 13 December 2013

Caspian Gull PLUK seen in 7 countries

Reading gull rings is a bit of a growing obsession. I'm not going to play the pseudo-scientific card as that's not why I do it to be honest - I just find hearing about a bird's life history pretty interesting. And personally, it doesn't get more interesting that this bird - a Caspian Gull PLUK.
Earlier this year, I visited southern Poland where I was lucky enough to visit one of the country's 'Caspian Gull colonies' at Jankowice, Babice, thanks to ringer Jacek Betleja. Having got a boat out to the reedy island, we discovered a few young chicks as well as seeing many adults with both green and yellow ring combinations. So, seeing PLUK on Saturday on the Essex tip, I immediately realised this was one of Jacek's birds presumably from this colony. And remarkably, it was...
PLUK was ringed as a chick on 29th May 2012 in this colony at Jankowice, Babice, Poland. By 24th August 2012 it had reached Snogebæk Harbour, Denmark and then a couple of weeks later it was photographed in Sweden at Baskemölla, Skane on 7th September 2012 - a photo can be seen here. It wasn't seen again until late last winter, on 29th March 2013, when it was at Koningspleij, Arnhem, The Netherlands before relocating to Belgium at Les Barrages de l'Eau d'Heure on 5th April 2013. It had tracked back east during the summer, and was seen in Ueckermünde harbour, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany on 15th August 2013 while, now as a second-winter, it was back in Sweden at Skillinge, Skane on 22nd September 2013 where it once again was photographed here. And there was then an absence until it turned up in Essex last weekend...
Many thanks to Jacek Betleja for the information, and to Olof Jonsson too who provided me with the Swedish photographic links, as well as to Steve A of course. All in all, a very interesting history of a bird that is only 18 months or so old!

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