Saturday, 20 October 2012

Gull Update

We're now into the second year of the joint Grampian and Tay big gull project, and it's been another successful season. So far this year in Grampian we've colour ringed 280 fully grown gulls, mainly Herring but also the occasional Lesser and Greater-backed. We also ringed 120 chicks on the coast (including these Greater chicks below) 60 of which were colour ringed.

Tay Ringing Group colour ringed 70 gulls in Montrose. The St. Serf's island gull colony on Loch Leven was also colour ringed for the first time, with a total of 150 chicks, mainly Lesser Black-backed. So far we've had five St. Serfs birds seen in Portugal and two in Northwest Spain, one of which was photographed by Manuel Carregal (below). 

Also this year we started colour ringing Common and Black-headed Gulls for the first time. We've done 160 Common Gulls so far, mostly chicks in an upland colony, and have already got some interesting movements out of them, which will feature in a future blog post.

The Black headed Gull colony we regularly ring had poor breeding success, but we managed to ring a few chicks elsewhere, and also mist netted some fully grown birds in the Autumn.  Hopefully we'll get a snowy winter and catch lots more.  

  • For big gulls with yellow rings, with the code the letter T followed by a colon and three numbers, please report to Euan Ferguson at
  • For big gulls with yellow rings, with the code the letter T followed by a colon and two numbers, then either the letter A or C, please report to Neil Mitchell at
  • For Common Gulls (orange rings) and Black headed Gulls (yellow rings) with the code 2X followed by two letters, please report to Calum Campbell at
A big thank you to all the ringers and observers who have made these projects possible. Please continue looking out for colour rings. 



  1. Most people assume that the sea gull can only be found near an ocean or sea, but they would be very wrong. Sea gulls are also known simply as gulls, and come in a wide variety of different types. These birds are very intelligent and are very resourceful in finding food for themselves.


  2. Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences.
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