North Thames Gull Group - GG61151
GG61151 was a first-winter Caspian Gull ringed at Pitsea Landfill, Essex, in 2007, at a time when Caspian Gulls were still just one of the 'yellow-legged' Herring Gulls. Without a colour ring it wasn't seen again until last week when it was found breeding on a rooftop in Minsk, Belarus. This is the first metal ring recovery of a British-ringed Caspian Gull abroad and shows that metal ringing can still be of immense value.
Lesser Black-backed Gull White 8Z0 was originally ringed as a breeding adult on Sark in May 2009. After being seen locally over the summer it was then seen at Porto de Lagos Landfill in Portugal on 13th January 2010, then 12 days later it was back on Chouet Landfill on Guernsey and 10 days later on Guidel beach in France. Four days later it was back at Chouet Landfill, seen a further 21 times until the autumn.
It was then a regular at Chouet Landfill, but also back in Portugal in January 2011 and August 2012, but made an extra-long trip to Agadir, Morocco, December 2012.
The last week has also seen some high-resolution data coming from four GPS data-loggers being worn by urban-nesting Herring Gulls in St Ives, Cornwall. This project is run in conjunction with Finestripe Productions and University of Amsterdam, looking at the behaviour of these birds in a typical seaside town. Tracks from these four birds are fascinating and show how birds are making 90-minute trips out to sea or across the countryside, travelling at up to 40 miles per hour.
Below are the tracks over the last few days of all four birds and then also an animation of the wanderings of one bird, even showing it appearing to follow a ploughing tractor at one point.
So now cast your vote on your favourite marking technique: the 68p metal ring, the £1.60 metal/colour ring combo, or the £900 GPS data-logger...
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