I have written about Black-headed Gull White E5YS on my blog before, and with good reason because in the first few months of its life it managed to fly all the way to Gran Canaria Spain, some 3,100 kilometers from where it was ringed in the Netherlands (see Dutch Black-headed Gull sighted in Gran Canaria, Spain and Dutch Black-headed Gull returns from Gran Canaria, Spain, to breeding colony in Holland).
While ring reading in the colony today where E5YS was born and fitted with a color ring, I was happy to see that E5YS has once again returned and is seemingly in good health.
Now in its third calendar year, it is time for him/her to find a mate and to produce its first offspring.
After observing E5YS in the colony for a while I managed to take some photos from up close. While studying them at home these revealed that the outer primary P10 in the right wing is not at its full length: it is distinctly shorter than P9.
It is unclear to me what the cause of this could be: has it just stopped growing or was it somehow lost and is a new one growing in? I’ll keep an eye on it over the coming weeks.
In the following photos, also note the characteristics of a young adult Black-headed Gull: the alula shows black markings and the hood is still in the process of being completed (a little slower than the adults who have had a full hood for a little while now).