A Ringed Herring Gull – British Birding


This morning I was photographing gulls roosting on a field at Leysdown, Kent, attempting to get good images of the two Mediterranean Gulls that were among the flock, when a Herring Gull with a very bright orange leg ring caught my eye. I could not read the code on the colour ring through binoculars so I tried to get some photographs of the ring. The first few photos I took of the bird did not show the code on the ring very well but fortunately it decided to move around a bit allowing me to get some images in which I the code can easily be read – S4MT. You can also see a metal ring on the bird’s right leg.


Last year I wrote about reporting a ringed Great Black-backed Gull, using the website European Colour-ring Birding I was able to track down the ringing project responsible and send them an email with the appropriate information and images. I did the same thing with this ringed bird and discovered that it was part of a ringing project along the Thames, so I saw it close to the ringing site. While I am yet to hear back from the ringing project I would encourage more birders to report their sightings of colour-ringed birds. I know that ringing projects do not get very many retraps or reports so that each one they receive is exciting for them and can reveal important information that can add to what we know about birds which can sometimes be used to formulate conservation policy.

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