Saturday, 30 November 2013

Colour-ringed Black-headed Gull at Linacre

Every winter Linacre Reservoirs are visited by between 80 and 100 Black-headed Gulls, which normally stay until April, and every year I scan through them in the hope of finding a ringed bird. Well today, all that patience paid off when I found an adult bird which was ringed with a metal ring on its left leg and a coloured darvic ring on its right leg (black lettering on a white background).

I don't carry my 'scope around usually, so I had to try and get close enough to the bird to read the ring with my binoculars. I eventually managed to get close enough to see that it was either LC30 or TC30. I sent the record into the BTO, and will hopefully get an answer back soon. I also checked another really good website, The Northern Ireland Black-headed Gull Study, which, as its name suggests, is a website about a group in Northern Ireland that colour rings Black-headed Gulls, and also has recorded several "foreign ringed" Black-headed Gulls on their patch. I don't think today's gull was from their scheme, as they tend to use red darvic rings, but they have had some white ringed gulls from Poland and Norway, so who knows?? An update will appear as soon as I hear anything.

As well as this gull there were also another 77 Black-headed Gulls present, along with my first Goosander of the winter (1 male), Mallard (110), Tufted Duck (61), Coot (8), Moorhen (7), Grey Heron (2 perched together in trees on the bottom reservoir) and Mandarin Duck (19). A small flock of 15 Crossbills were seen and heard around the middle reservoir, along with a small number of Redwings and Fieldfares and a singing Mistle Thrush.

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