02 August 2017

Chick couldn't wait to get to Britain

Gull spotter Andy Deighton writes:

Norfolk Bridge, on the river Don in Sheffield, has been a good place to get close views of loafing gulls over the summer. The birds feed at the nearby Viridor glass recycling plant and loaf, bathe and preen on the river weir and adjacent factory roofs.

Decent numbers of immature Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Black-headed Gulls spend late summer here, with smaller numbers of Herring Gulls, the odd Greater Black-backed, Caspian and Yellow-legged Gull.

From mid-June, numbers of adult, post-breeding Black-headed Gulls started to build up on the river Don, with the first juvenile noted on 30 June and three to four juveniles present over the next few days.


Juvenile Black-headed Gull. Photo by Andy Deighton


The nearest known large Black-headed Gull colony is at Old Moor, about 14 km away, so any juveniles in Sheffield might not be expected to have travelled far from the breeding colony.

Checking the birds on 7 July, a colour marked Black-headed Gull was of interest, wearing colour ring white T25T. After reporting this via the BTO Euring website, it was a surprise to find this bird had been ringed as a chick in Poland, on 6 June, and was still present at that location on 28 June. It was then with us just nine days later having travelled a massive 1,070 km journey within approximately six weeks of hatching.

The bird wasn’t seen subsequently so was presumably still on the move.

2 comments:

  1. At Rutland Water this summer we have already read rings on Black-headed Gulls from Finland (3), Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

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