Best wishes and thank you for your visits

2014 best wishes

In this last blog post of 2013 I would like to take the opportunity to wish all the readers of my blog a healthy and prosperous New Year, with the hope that it will include many interesting gull observations.

Thank you also for your interest in my blog posts: the annual report that I received from WordPress today told me that you viewed my blog more than 18,000 times this year. Not bad for a blog about gulls.

From the 92 posts that I published, here are top 5 that you found the most interesting:

#1 Presumed 2nd-calendar year Baltic Gull at Noordwijk

In this post I reported on observing a Baltic Gull in June (a rare species in The Netherlands). The story had a twist: it turned out that we had photographed not one but two individuals. (Incidentally, both Baltic Gulls have since been accepted by Dutch rarities committee (CDNA). See also the follow-up post: 2 Baltic Gulls instead of 1 at Noordwijk.)

Presumed 2nd-calendar year Baltic Gull. Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 22 Jun 2013.

2nd-calendar year Baltic Gull. Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 22 Jun 2013.

#2 Studying bill and eye characteristics in European Herring Gulls

In this post I outlined the characteristics of 53 Herring Gulls which I photographed in May during ringing activities. These little projects are a great way for me to learn more about gulls and really delve into the finer details of observing gulls.

Gape curvature has a direct effect on the general appearance.

Gape curvature has a direct effect on the general appearance.

#3 A must-read thesis on the breeding and foraging behavior of Dutch large gulls

Cover of the thesis. Copyright NIOZ.

Cover of the thesis. Copyright NIOZ.

I get much of my inspiration for gulls from unique people such as Kees Camphuysen, who I am fortunate to meet a few times each year when visiting the mixed gull colony in the north of Holland where he performs his scientific studies on Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Kees promoted this year on a thesis named “A historical ecology of two closely related gull species (Laridae): multiple adaptations to a man-made environment.”

As I said in my blog post in June: “If you have an interest in gulls, I highly recommend you to read this.”

See the download link in my post.

#4 Noordwijk aan Zee, sand suppletion works – 20130614

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.

As part of our continuous battle against the sea, the Dutch coastline is strengthened at various places this year. One of these places was Noordwijk aan Zee where for a few weeks in June, thousands of gulls were attracted by the food that was presented to them in the sand used for repairing the beach.

This resulted in spectacular scenes and interesting observations, which I look back to with great fondness.

#5 Noordwijk aan Zee, sand suppletion works – 20130615

Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 15 June 2013.

Noordwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, 15 June 2013.

More spectacular images, videos and interesting observations from Noordwijk aan Zee.

2014

Here is hoping that 2014 will be as interesting as 2013 was, and that I can continue to post articles on this blog that you will find of interest. Thanks again for your visits!

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7 thoughts on “Best wishes and thank you for your visits

  1. Happy New Year and thank you for all the interesting posts. Some ‘gull writing’ tends to be rather ‘dry’ reading, if you know what I mean – but yours is quite different. Keep up the good work! 🙂

      • I can’t remember if I mentioned this to you before (I was planning to), but considering that you’ve worked with the clever people who have been putting GPS transmitters onto gulls and plotting their movements – did you ever think about attaching a micro digital camera to the gull’s back, alongside the GPS? I saw this video of this with a Peregrine Falcon a few weeks ago, and it seems that the video technology has improved – and miniaturized a lot in recent years.

        Might be fascinating to see what the gulls actually do when we’re not watching them. Some researchers placed cameras on domestic cats a few years ago and obtained some interesting footage – and there’s also been those famous viral situations (perhaps staged?) where a gull has grabbed someone’s camera and flown away with it…

    • Yeah, when I saw this ‘day in the life of a gull’ thing, my immediate thought was that it would be awesome if the gull also had a camera on its back…

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