Tuesday 29 March 2016

Colour-Ringed Baltic Gull at Shawell A5 Lagoons

The tip was closed during the Easter Bank Holiday, so there were fewer gulls around than normal. Despite this I still managed to read six colour-rings on Saturday. The ringed birds were all Lesser Black-backed Gulls, but one was much darker than the others and I suspected it was a Baltic Gull. My luck was in as it had a Norwegian colour-ring and it was readable - black J727. A number of features looked good for Baltic Gull, so I reported it there and then to the Norwegian website Ring Merking. I was really pleased to see it was listed as a Larus fuscus fuscus the nominate Lesser Black-backed Gull, or Baltic Gull.

It was only present for a short while and very few gulls appeared after the group it was with moved on.

The jizz is typical of many Baltic Gulls, short legged, full breasted and a long tapered rear end. Some individuals have a more elegant profile, but this one is very similar to many colour-ringed birds depicted on Gull Research Organisation. It has a white mirror on P10 only, which, although larger than some, is perfectly within the acceptable variation for Baltic Gull. The tiny white tips are typical of late winter birds - these will soon wear and disappear.

Adult Baltic Gull, Colour-Ring J727
Adult Baltic Gull, Colour-Ring J727

It was ringed as a breeding adult  in a Baltic Gull colony on an island off the north-west coast of Norway. It was ringed in Colony B at Buholmen, Sørhorsvær, Samna, Nordland, Norway. The Norwegian population of L. f. fuscus is quite small and is probably getting smaller. At the time of ringing the birds in Colony B were said to be pure fuscus. I await comments from Norway. Assuming I get the thumbs up from Norway I will submit it to the BBRC. Adult Baltic Gulls are not acceptable unless the bird is colour-ringed and the bird is known to be a genuine Baltic Gull.

Gull colour ringing in Norway (17)
Last CR-Code Black ring with white code: J727 LBNW(J727);RBM
Ringing Centre Stavanger Museum (Norway) Ring number 4207875
Species Lesser Black-backed Gull (fuscus)  Larus fuscus fuscus Determined sex F Map Map
Upload picture25.06 2006Observers ad Sex (F) status Colour mark addedB Buholmen, Sørhorsvær, Sømna, Nordland, Norway65°18'26"N 011°37'30"E-------------
Upload picture20.06 2007Observersstatus Colour mark already presentB Buholmen, Sørhorsvær, Sømna, Nordland, Norway

65°18'26"N 011°37'30"E3600 Map
 Other Sightings Hidden****

Upload picture19.06 2014Observersstatus Colour mark already presentB Buholmen, Sørhorsvær, Sømna, Nordland, Norway65°18'26"N 011°37'30"E29160 Map
Upload picture02.08 2015Observersstatus Colour mark already presentC Buøya, Nordhorsvær, Sømna, Nordland, Norway65°19'06"N 011°37'51"E33251 Map
Upload picture26.03 2016Observers Colour mark already presentShawell A5 Lagoons, Leicester & Rutland, Great Britain

52°24'50"N 001°12'52"W35621606 Map