18 December 2014

Yellow legs and Black heads in Switzerland

We recently received a partial ring-read of a Black-headed Gull in Switzerland which did look to be a BTO-ringed bird, so definitely one worth chasing up! A few emails later and a week after first seeing the bird at Morges, Franck Lehmans was able to read the ring again and get the full number (EX70855); a bird ringed as an adult at Pitsea Landfill Site in October 2012.

This is only the second report of a British-ringed Black-headed Gull in Switzerland, following a bird ringed as a chick in Essex in 1999 and seen in December that year. The map below shows all movements of Black-headed Gulls to/from Britain & Ireland, from the Online Ringing Report.

Franck has a bit of a track record finding North Thames Gull Group birds: in April/May 2014 he reported a Yellow-legged Gull (Orange YY5T) originally ringed at Rainham Tip in February 2014. This bird also has an interesting history, being seen just five days after ringing in France, before moving on to Switzerland.

Wanderings of Orange YY5T
To top the story, in the same week that Franck was watching the Pitsea Black-headed Gull in Switzerland, the Yellow-legged Gull he'd seen in the spring was back at Pitsea, photographed by Richard Bonser (check out his excellent blog here)!

Orange YY5T at Pitsea Landfill on 29th November (c) Richard Bonser
Many thanks to North Thames Gull Group for sending on the details of these birds and for letting us use the map from their excellent website.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the plug! To add even more to this Anglo-Swiss relationship, I had a 1st-winter Swiss ringed Yellow-legged Gull at Pitsea Landfill on 29th March 2014 - couldn't get every digit but from email correspondence it was ringed at Lake Neuchatel. Here's the link to the ring http://rothandb.blogspot.co.uk/2014_03_01_archive.html