Black-headed Gull 2C23 is a gull that was ringed in our small back garden in June 2022. We resorted to mist netting adult gulls at that time, due to the stall in our Black-headed Gull project when cases of Avian Influenza were being identified at breeding colonies, and we decided not to risk entering the areas.
2C23 was no less than a 3rd summer individual when captured on 22nd June 2022.
The first resighting came in on 7th October. The bird was now some 340km further south west on Weymouth beach and a further five sighting confirmed that the bird remained broadly in the local area, being seen at Radipole Lake and Ferrybridge until 8th January.
The next sighting was rather unexpected. 2C23 was seen on 7th July 2023, by CL & DKL, on the scrape at Sculthorpe Moor. We had not been looking for colour ringed gulls, but pulli Lapwing. At the time we felt that the maturing nature of the scrape and reported cases of Avian Influenza at Pensthorpe may have contributed to the arrival of several pairs of Black-headed Gulls to a site where they had not attempted to nest before. The water level remained quite high into the breeding season and some birds moved on after a few days. The bird was not reported again, so in all likelihood it did not remain to breed there. A few birds had young but very few fledged from the site.
This morning we have a report of 2C23 back at Radipole Lake, Dorset all thanks to the increased value that fitting darvic rings brings. It remains to be seen whether 2C23 has a set routine, or may strike out in an alternative direction as other birds marked under his project have done.
Sightings of our birds contribute to the understanding of seasonal movements and longevity of Black-headed Gulls, and the study would not be possible without reports from observers, whether dedicated or casual. Every sighting counts and we are most grateful for each and every one.
Find details for reporting a colour ringed bird at https://cr-birding.org/