Monday, 27 July 2015

Black-headed Gulls

So the Black-headed Gulls arriving in Leicestershire are not necessarily local breeding birds despite the fact it is still July.

At Shawell there has been a steady build up of Black-headed Gulls. At the beginning of July there was just four, then 32 appeared including a few juveniles, then 200 and by the 25th over 1000 were present. It is easy to think that the first small group had come from a local source. However, amongst the small group seen on 11th was one ringed in Poland and another ringed in Croatia.

So far this month I have recorded five colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls: three from Poland and one each from England and The Netherlands. This is not bad considering I've only successfully read 23 at Shawell since 2012. They are quite distant and the codes are very small. I have treated myself to a new scope with 70x magnification, so hopefully the extra 10x will improve my strike rate.

I have sightings of colour-ringed BHGs from Croatia, Denmark, England, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Scotland and The Netherlands. 

It just goes to show that a species we generally take for granted can turn out to be interesting.

TNCT Originally Ringed in Southern Poland was at Shawell on 25/07/15. Photo Tomascz Iciek

After writing this post, Steve Lister and Terry Sherwood saw TNCT at Rutland Water. This is quite remarkable and for me it is a really interesting insight into the wonderings of gulls around our local area.


  1. White TNCT was at Rutland Water yesterday (28th) !!

  2. That's fantastic well done. I wonder where it will appear next?