Wednesday, 3 April 2013

An underrated migrant - Lesser black-backed Gull

While at Vilamoura Marina in Portugal, I spent time searching through the large gull flocks to familiarise myself with Yellow legged Gulls in various plumages. amongst them I came across three darvic ringed Lesser black-backed Gulls. Thousands of LBBGs seemed to be on the move along Portugal's south coast and were even seen migrating north over some of the highest peaks miles inland in the Alentejo

I've already received details of where the first was ringed (blue ring YM16)- as an adult at Sandgerdi in SW-Iceland on 29 May 2010!
The bird seen below will be leaving Portugal now and passing through the UK on its way north having possibly already travelled from west Africa. The first bird below (Black F160) seems to be a Portuguese ringed bird while the second blue bird V.NOL was probably ringed as a chick in Belgium.

Next time you see a Lesser black-backed Gull on your local beach / tip / field, it might have come further than you think!

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