Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Returning Black-heads

No lotions, potions or squeezing required in this case as the returning Black-heads, as you will have realised, are Black-headed Gulls. I started checking the gulls that come to bread at Orrell Water Park back in October and I was really pleased to find IA141745 was present on 08/10/2018. This bird was ringed as an adult on 29/04/2012 at Bohmke und Werder, Germany, near the Baltic coast and border with Poland, and has been recorded at Orrell Water Park each winter since then.

Black-headed Gull IA141745 back for its 5th winter.
This photograph was taken yesterday but it has been present since 08/10/2018, at least.

The next ringed Black-head to return was photographed on 29/10/18 and was another German bird. This bird was originally ringed as a nestling on 10/06/2016 at Esterweger Dose, Weser-Ems in north-west Germany and was previously recorded at Orrell Water Park from 02/10/2017 to 17/03/2018.

Black-headed Gull 5437612
Photographed on 29/10/2018 and recorded several times since, most recently on 29/11/2018.
A check of the gulls on 11/11/2018 produced another returning bird but this time it was a British ringed Black-headed Gull EZ33149. This bird was ringed as a nestling on 20/06/2017 at Elvanfoot, South Lanarkshire and was previously recorded at Orrell Water Park between 10/11/2017 and 17/03/2018.

EZ33149 just wouldn't stand still for very long so I concentrated on getting photographs of the ring rather than the bird. I only just managed to get the full number but it took 25 photographs along with a lot of cropping and some enhancement afterwards.
Only 4 ringed Black-headed Gulls were recorded at Orrell Water Park in the whole of last winter so to have 3 of them back already is a very good return rate and shows how site faithful they can be.