Return of 28th-Calendar Year Herring Gull

A nice surprise today: my first observation this year of an old friend: a 26-year old European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus). This confirms that it has reached yet another calendar year: it’s 28th already!

26th-year old European Herring Gul, 12 January 2013, Leiden, The Netherlands.

26th-year old European Herring Gul, 12 January 2013, Leiden, The Netherlands. It was ringed as a juvenile in July 1986, near The Hague, The Netherlands.

If you are a regular visitor to my blog you will be aware that I have been following this gull since 2009 (see Meeting up with an old friend, Half of what he used to be and White triangle).

Each year it can be seen in Leiden from January until September, after which it moves to an area on the Dutch coast just north of the port of Rotterdam. Its last observation was from that area at the end of November of last year.

I was indeed expecting him to return around this time, based on my observations in previous years:

  • 2010: 9 January
  • 2011: 20 January
  • 2012: not seen until March

As you can see, today’s observation on 12 January fits in nicely. What’s more: all 3 observations were done in the same location in Leiden, proving once more that gulls don’t aimlessly wander about but have favorite locations that they return to.

Today’s observation was only a brief one and unfortunately I was not able to take any flight shots.

It was good to see him back again and in good health. Hopefully he’ll allow me to observe him many more times over the coming months.

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