On Monday 26 August we visited the gull colony at IJmuiden Forteiland for the very last time this season.
As is the case each year, almost all gulls have left the colony at that time and the Lesser Black-backed Gulls in particular will be on their way to the wintering grounds or will already have arrived there.
Our task on this final day is to check the colony for any dead birds that are fitted with rings.
It surprised us that we came across very few dead birds. Only 2 of them were ringed. One was a juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull that we fitted with a metal ring only (we typically do this when they are a bit too young to be fitted with a colour ring).
The other one unfortunately was an adult Herring Gull which we ringed this year as Green YCUS. It already had a metal ring fitted which allowed us to follow it last year. Its partner is also colour ringed and therefore we were eager to also fit a colour ring to YCUS so that we can track both adults. They were quite successful in bringing up young with 2 fledglings last year and 1 this year.
Even though YCUS didn’t make it this year, we now know that its partner will have to find another mate to pair with next year.
The breeding season as a whole has been very successful, we will publish a full report later this year.