Tuesday 15 March 2016

Hungarian Colour-Ringed Mediterranean Gull at Shawell

My return to Shawell on Saturday proved to be a productive affair. I have missed reading three previous Mediterranean Gull colour-rings, so an opportunity to successfully read another was one not to be messed up. The problem is that the colour-rings fitted to the smaller species are tiny compared to those fitted to larger gulls. Conditions need to be perfect to read the small rings. The extra 10x magnification that my new scope give me helps.

Anyway there was a large gathering of Black-headed Gulls at the A5 Lagoons - around 4000 of them. I was hoping that they may have brought with them at least one Med Gull. Straight off I spotted a Black-headed Gull with a Polish colour-ring, which was a good start. As I worked through the gulls I found an adult Med Gull buried amongst the flock. The gulls did a shuffle round, which allowed me to see more of it and I could see it had a red colour-ring.

The code was not easy to read due to the position the ring was in, but eventually I read it. It was H9A4 and my research at home revealed that it was ringed in Hungary. I sent off the details and this morning I received confirmation that I had read the code correctly. It had been ringed at its nest site in Hungary in 2013 just prior to it fledging.

I didn't get a photo of it on the shore as it was always partially hidden, but I re-found it later on the water.

Interestingly the only other sighting of this bird is from Topsham, Devon in November 2014.

Adult Mediterranean Gull (H9A4)

Ringing Location of H9A4


  1. This bird is now at Middleton Lakes RSPB

  2. H9A4 is reported at RSPB Middleton Lakes, Staffs now.

  3. Thanks for the update guys.
    It doesn't seem to be in a rush to get back to Hungary.