Saturday 22 February 2014

A Visitor From Finland

At Shawell the light was just beginning to fade when I noticed a Herring Gull with a yellow colour ring. The day had been a good one, as I'd already read 16 colour rings. I couldn't make out the code, so I fitted my camera and switched to live view and zoomed in. This doesn't work that well most of the time, but in between gusts of wind the image focused and the code C02CN was read.

Herring Gull C02CN

Checking the colour ringing website, I found just one scheme that appeared to fit and that one was based in Finland. I emailed the Ringing Centre at the Finnish Museum of Natural History and the next day I received a reply confirming that it had been ringed as a breeding female in 2007 - see map below for location.

As well as this bird I saw three Lesser Black-backed Gulls that had been ringed in Norway and also two from the Netherlands. Another highlight was a Great Black-backed Gull that was ringed in Gloucestershire, but was seen in Norway last summer.

 Norwegian Ringed LBB Gull - JJ4G

Norwegian Ringed LBB Gull JV9E
English Ringed LBB Gull 4C1B (East Anglia Gull Group)
English Ringed LBB Gull - ACH (Severn Estuary Gull Group)

A Leucistic Black-headed Gull was also present, which I've seen before and it always provides a few seconds of excitement.

Leucistic Black-headed Gull

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