Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Ringed Gull Recovery - Aberdeen & Essex

I had 4 colour ringed Herring Gulls at Rainton Meadows DWT yesterday, I have already had 2 speedy replies to two of the birds I submitted, here are details below:

The first gull is perhaps not as exciting as the second bird, it had a YELLOW ring with T081 written on it. Here are the detials for that bird:

The bird was 'whoosh netted' in the ringers garden in Petercultre in Aberdeen last summer
GR23891 - T:081 - Peterculter, Aberdeen - 14/07/2011 - Adult ringed today
GR23891 - T:081 - Girdleness, Aberdeen - 06/08/2011 - Sighting -  Raymon Duncan
GR23891 - T:081 - Rainton Meadows, Durham - 06/02/2012 - Sighting – Andrew Kinghorn

What has been learned from the ringing of the Gulls in aberdeen is that this bird is the fifth to be wintering on the East Coast of England.


This bird is perhaps more interesting, all will become clear why, here are the ringing details of the Herring Gull that has been rang as part of the North Thames Gull Group, the bird had the following ring: ORANGE with MJ3T written on it:

Ring Number: GN86948
Age: 10
Ringing Date: 09 Jan 2010
Location: Pitsea Landfill Site, Essex
Sighted again: 06 Feb 2012
Location of Sighting: Rainton Meadows NR, Houghton-le-Spring, Durham
Movement: 390km NNW
Interval: 2 years 28 days!

So what's so interesting about the latter bird? Well it was rang on a tip that regularly gets good numbers of Yellow-legged and Caspian Gulls. In addition to this the tip has had possible Thayer's Gull and the UK's first (perhaps, depending on what you think of it) Slaty-backed Gull! I do wonder if the rather stunning Yellow-legged Gull I can not seem to see is actually from Pitsea as well, just a thought and can never really be proven.

Pictures of the (possible?) Slaty-backed Gull.
Pictures of the (probable) Thayer's Gull.

All very interesting in my opinion.

Until next time, Foghorn out!


  1. Get quite a lot of Pitsea birds in Peterborough too. Gulls move about all over the place..


    1. Gives me hope of finding a Caspian Gull at Rainton Meadows DWT one day, there has been 1 record of an adult a few years ago but it was never submitted. If there were any doubters that thought Caspian Gull could not reach Rainton Meadows this should swing their opinions around.


  2. Fantastic to hear mate; any gull sporting a yellow ring starting with the letter T followed by 3 digits is the way to tell a bird ringed by the Grampian Ringing Group. Their blog can be seen here and a recent post details some fascinatingly wide ranging gulls, hopefully your bird will appear on the blog in the near future: http://grampianringing.blogspot.com/ . Fascinating to hear that an Aberdeen bird has made it down your way; a nice little connection between the two counties :).



  3. Hi Andrew
    Interesting ringing recoverys
    Did you know theres a landfill site within a mile of Rainton Meadows...?
    It regularly attracts several 1,000 gulls ;-)
    Good Luck !

    1. Ya kna' I saw all these git massay' gulls flying toward Howton'. A was wondering where the' were gannin' ;)