Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Greater Hat-trick

On boxing day last year, me and Ewan did what most people do, and headed up to Peterhead, with a car full of bread and turkey scraps, to catch Gulls. Unfortunately our net did not fire as intended, and we only managed to catch three first winter Greater Black-backed Gulls.

However, our attempt was definitely worth the effort, as we soon discovered that T:007 (above) was sighted in St. Peter-Ording, Germany, only four days after ringing. It doesn't appear to have left since, as we've had sightings throughout the year in the same location from multiple observers, the most recent one being in mid-August.

Later in the year we got a report that another bird of the catch, T:006, had been seen in Hirtshals, Denmark on 26th June!  A photograph by the observer, Lars Pederson is below.

Amazingly that was not all!  Last month a sighting came through from the remaining gull of the catch, T:005, in Hanstholm, Denmark on 13th May.

So out of a catch of three birds, we've had a 100% foreign resighting rate! Not a bad boxing day after all! It really shows the benefits of colour rings on these species. All the locations the birds have been seen in are coastal harbour towns, so presumably the gulls have just latched onto and followed boats across the North Sea.

I will put an update up sometime soon about our Gull ringing this year.


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