Noordwijk aan Zee, sand suppletion works – 20130614

Thousands of gulls have been gathering at the Dutch coastal town of Noordwijk aan Zee the last couple of weeks due to the sand suppletion work that is bringing them rich sea food on a platter.

Today I finally had time to go and have a look myself and quite a spectacle it was. At least 5000 gulls were present: mostly Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, together with a hand full of Greater Black-backed Gulls and a couple of Caspian Gulls, Yellow-legged Gulls and 2 Black-headed Gulls.

Gulls at the beach of Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Gulls at the beach of Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Gulls at the beach of Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Gulls at the beach of Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

It was interesting to see that about 90% or so were sub-adults (mostly 2nd-calendar years and 3rd-calender years).

Second-calendar year Herring Gull (front left) with second-calendar year Lesser Black-backed Gull (front right). Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Second-calendar year Herring Gull (front left) with second-calendar year Lesser Black-backed Gull (front center). Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Many ringed individuals could be observed as well, I managed to read 34 color rings: 14 Herring Gulls, 16 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 3 Greater Black-backed Gulls and 1 Caspian Gull. Countries ranged from Holland (22), Belgium (2), Germany (2), Great-Britain (3, including 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull from the Guernsey Islands – my first), Denmark (1), Spain (1), Norway (3).

Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, Green Y.AMN from the colony of nearby IJmuiden. Noordijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, Green Y.AMN from the colony of nearby IJmuiden. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull with white greater primary covert. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull with white greater primary covert. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Third-calendar year Lesser Black-backed Gull with color ring from Spain. Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Third-calendar year Lesser Black-backed Gull with color ring from Spain. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Leucistic Lesser Black-backed Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Leucistic Lesser Black-backed Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Leucistic Lesser Black-backed Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Leucistic Lesser Black-backed Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

One nice sighting was Green K.AKN: a third-calendar year Lesser Black-backed Gull that I last saw in 2011 when we ringed it in the gull colony of Texel, The Netherlands.

First-calendar year Lesser Blacked Gull, Green K.AKN, Texel, The Netherlands 16 July 2011.

First-calendar year Lesser Blacked Gull, Green K.AKN, Texel, The Netherlands 16 July 2011.

Herring Gull

This adult Herring Gull seems to have taken a color bath and a mud bath... Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

This adult Herring Gull seems to have taken a color bath and a mud bath… Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

Caspian Gulls

A few individuals were present, including 2nd-calendar year White C+, which I immediately recognized as and individual that was ringed in February this year in Amsterdam (more photos on Gull Research). It is interesting to see that it is still in the area.

2nd-Calendar year Caspian Gull with ring White C+. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

2nd-Calendar year Caspian Gull with ring White C+. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

2nd-Calendar year Caspian Gull with ring White C+. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

2nd-Calendar year Caspian Gull with ring White C+. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

2nd-Calendar year Caspian Gull with ring White C+. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

2nd-Calendar year Caspian Gull with ring White C+. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

2nd-Calendar year Caspian Gull with ring White C+. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

2nd-Calendar year Caspian Gull with ring White C+. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

To end this report, this beautiful 3rd-calendar year Caspian Gull:

3rd-Calendar year Caspian Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

3rd-Calendar year Caspian Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

3rd-Calendar year Caspian Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

3rd-Calendar year Caspian Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

3rd-Calendar year Caspian Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

3rd-Calendar year Caspian Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

3rd-Calendar year Caspian Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

3rd-Calendar year Caspian Gull. Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 14 June 2013.

More to come…

Needless to say that I really enjoyed myself today. The plan is to go back tomorrow…

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