As our colour-marked Black-headed Gulls start to reappear at their wintering sites across the UK, our brilliant team of ring readers are ready and waiting to report who they see safely returned for another season.
This season could be a bumper year for sightings, following our best ever catching season last winter adding hundreds of newly colour-marked birds to the study.
One bird safely back is 215B, ringed as an adult in December 2021 at Spike Island, Cheshire. The bird was first reported back on 18th September 2022, but it wasn’t until today that we received some exciting news – the bird was seen and photographed in Russia back in May 2022!
We often see lots of sightings from spring and summer come in at this time of year from across Europe, as ring readers and fieldworkers submit their records at the end of the season.
215B becomes our 10th ever recovery of a bird from our project in Russia, and our 5th record this year alone. Then delving further into the numbers we discovered that the minimum distance travelled for this bird was a new record for the project – being at least 2455km from Spike Island in Cheshire, to Park Pobedy in Tver.
The previous record was held by 2C20, a bird ringed at Sale Water Park in Greater Manchester back in 2011, seen at the same wintering site in subsequent years and then seen in Novgorod in 2017 – a distance of 2158km.
We’ve now had 65 birds reported across Europe in 2022, from 13 countries. Check our the sightings map below to see them all