Adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls return to Leiden – 20160213

It’s mid-February and this traditionally means that the first adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus graellsii are starting to appear in my home town of Leiden, the Netherlands again, returning from the wintering grounds.

Today I saw my first 2 individuals of this season within the city limits. Here is the one that I saw in the city center:

graellsii-20160213

Looking back at my first sightings of the previous years they are right on schedule:

  • 17 February 2015
  • 11 February 2014
  • 16 February 2013
  • 24 February 2012
  • 19 February 2011

These first birds are typically unringed so it is hard to tell if they are local breeders or on their way to their actual breeding colonies. In any case, it should not be long now for the first (few) ringed individuals to also start showing up.

It is nice to see these gorgeous gulls again and I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming breeding season and visiting the breeding colonies again!

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