Derick Hiemstra and his 69-year-old father (below) are dedicated gull ringers in The Netherlands, ringing from their garage at Surhuisterveen. When they caught Common Gull EK42603 on 1st December, they noticed that the ring was rather worn, and as this was the first British-ringed Common Gull they'd caught, they were interested to know how old it was.
It turns out that EK42603 was ringed as a first-winter bird at Sandwich Bay (Kent) on 12th January 1985, making it almost 28 years old. This is a new longevity record for a UK Common Gull, beating the previous record of 25 years of an Irish bird.
Quite incredibly, Derick also held the European longevity record, resighting a Danish bird (5003247) almost 34 years after ringing!
But EK42603 now also has a shiny new colour ring (white E61K), so hopefully this isn't the last we'll hear of this OAG.
Check out more UK longevity records online here, and European records here.