Saturday, 9 March 2013

Life histories

It was very quiet quality wise on the tip today, highlighting with a Yellow-legged Gull, and there were bizarrely no Caspian Gulls present; the closest we came was a 2nd-winter bird that at least had some cachinnans genes but was a long way off on several characters. There were also no Med Gulls (compared to at least half a dozen last Saturday) and Common Gull numbers were down. However, there are always ringed gulls which at least create something of interest when it comes to their life histories. Here are two from today that had been ringed by Paul Roper and the NTGG: -
fifth calendar year Herring Gull. Essentially an adult in plumage, this bird was ringed at the same site on 17th October 2009 and aged as a first-winter. Remarkably, until today, it hadn't been recorded in the three and a half years since it was ringed. 
fourth calendar year Herring Gull. A relatively retarded individual, this bird was ringed at Rainham on 12th November 2011 as a 2nd-winter and since then it has spent a lot of its time in France, being seen at the massive rubbish dump at Blaringhem, Nord, France (where a lot of ringed gulls from southeast England turn up) on 15 December 2011 and 23 November 2012, then slightly further northwest at Dannes, Pas-de-Calais on 19 December 2012 before being seen today.

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