Return of pink Black-headed Gull to breeding colony – 20150306

While checking for colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls Chroicocephalus ridibundus in the breeding colony of Zoetermeer, the Netherlands, today (6 March 2015) one individual caught my eye because of its very pink underparts.

ridibundus-roze-20150306

It occurred to me that we see such an individual almost every breeding season, usually at the very start (end of February, beginning of March).

While comparing the photos from today with those that I took in 2012, I noticed that they are of the same individual: a faint light spot in the dark hood just to the right of the eye can be seen (click the images to enlarge).

The following photo is from 3 March 2012, in which the faint spot is also visible:

Ridi_pink_03Mrt12a

This individual turns out to be a male, as shown in the following video from 6 March 2015 where it can be seen courtship-feeding an un-ringed adult:

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