Gull-ibles Travels


King of the Gulls; Great black-backed Gulls


Chicks being ringed with specialist rings

GBB Gull1 (Kris Gibb)

On the move (Kris Gibb)

Tuesday 19th December comments: On the Isle of May NNR, a small number of Great Black-backed Gulls nest and as part of our studies on these birds they fitted with a colour ring (yellow colour ring with letter/number codes). These specialist rings allow birdwatchers to read them in the field (without recapturing the bird) using binoculars or telescopes and the results have proven rather interesting.

This year’s class of 2017 started fledging in mid-July and the majority had departed the island by mid-August. A few continued to linger on the island into the seal season but reports soon started coming in of those which had gone further afield. The first reports started coming in from the nearby Lothian and Fife coastlines but others went further with individuals going to Seahouses (Northumberland) and North Shields (Tyne & Wear).

However X:139 decided to really travel as on 23rd October the bird was observed in Ardglass (County Down) in Northern Ireland. As the winter progresses birds will travel even further so please keep your eyes peeled as the Isle of May might just be a bit closer to you than you think…

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