Black-headed Gull White EJC5 returns to Leiden – 20130824

There was a noticeable increase in the number of Black-headed Gulls in Leiden this morning. At various locations inside and just outside the city, small groups of 5 – 10 individuals could be seen. The majority seemed to be first-calendar years and second-calendar years.

The presence of one of them, ringed here in Leiden as White EJC5 in December last year, proofs that at least part of them are migrating and have returned to spend the winter in Leiden or are on their way to places further south.

Second-calendar year Black-headed Gull, ringed as White EJC5. Leiden, The Netherlands, 24 August 2013

Second-calendar year Black-headed Gull, ringed as White EJC5. It is in full basic (non-breeding plumage) with just a small ear spot and faint bands across the head. The orange bill is typical for gulls of this type and age. Leiden, The Netherlands, 24 August 2013.

Second-calendar year Black-headed Gull, ringed as White EJC5. It is in full basic (non-breeding plumage) with just a small ear spot and faint bands across the head. The orange bill and legs are typical for gulls of this type and age. Leiden, The Netherlands, 24 August 2013.

Second-calendar year Black-headed Gull, ringed as White EJC5. It is in full basic (non-breeding plumage) with just a small ear spot and faint bands across the head. The orange bill and legs are typical for gulls of this type and age. Also note the black mark on the outer web of P9. Leiden, The Netherlands, 24 August 2013.

Moult pattern

White EJC5 has nearly completed its moult to full basic (non-breeding) plumage: all feathers have been replaced except a few inner secondaries. The outer primaries P9 and P10 are already present but need some time to fully grow. Hopefully I will be able to track this over the coming weeks.

In flight, EJC5 shows that nearly all feathers have been replaced. The outer primaries are still growing will the inner secondaries have been dropped. Leiden, The Netherlands, 24 August 2013

In flight, EJC5 shows that nearly all feathers have been replaced. The outer primaries are still growing while the inner secondaries have been dropped. Leiden, The Netherlands, 24 August 2013.

A view of the wings: the outer primaries are still growing while the inner secondaries have been dropped. Leiden, The Netherlands, 24 August 2013

A view of the wings: the outer primaries are still growing while the inner secondaries have been dropped. Leiden, The Netherlands, 24 August 2013

EJC5 as a first-calendar year

EJC5 was ringed at the end of December in 2012, just 2 kilometers from where I saw it today. I have logged 3 observations of EJC5 last winter; the last one was on January 24.

White EJC5 as a first-ccalendar year Black-headed Gull shortly after it was ringed. Leiden, The Netherlands, December 2012.

White EJC5 as a first-calendar year Black-headed Gull shortly after it was ringed. Leiden, The Netherlands, December 2012.

White EJC5 as a first-calendar year Black-headed Gull still in first-cycle plumage. Leiden, The Netherlands, 12 January 2013.

White EJC5 as a first-calendar year Black-headed Gull still in first-cycle plumage. Leiden, The Netherlands, 12 January 2013. This photo was taken at the same location as where I observed him today.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s