PUJ1 – a colour ringed Mediterranean Gull

Last Wednesday during a regular bird survey at Lepe Country Park, we found a ringed Mediterranean Gull – PUJ1 on a red ring.

A red leg ring with the code beginning with a P identified the bird as having been ringed in Poland so I emailed the Polish ringing group and I have now had the history of the bird in question.

It was ringed in Poland at a bird reserve south west of Wroclaw in May 2016. At that time it was a full adult, so at least three years old which means it is now already 10 years old or more (the oldest Med Gull known from ringing data is about 19 years-old).

A couple of months later it was just 100km west of its ringing site, still in Poland.

Not seen again until the following year when, still moving west, it was in Leipzig, Germany. Then in February 2018 it was spotted at Lepe for the first time. It spent the summer just along the coast at Calshot before returning to Germany in 2019 where it was found in Dresden on 21 July.

It was not reported again until 2021 when it was seen in January at Lepe and in September at Titchfield.

Presumably it had now given up long distance commuting as it was in Hayling Island at the Oysterbeds in March 2022, Calshot in July and Lepe again in September.

And this year it has.been seen in January and, now, March at Lepe.

For those of you who want to look up the exact locations the brd was reported here is a link to a google maps list of the places: https://goo.gl/maps/PnF6bpXC6bLjvwB77

The colour ringing of larger birds makes the identification of individuals in the field a real possibility. Sometimes these will be large colour rings with a code written on them. Other ringing groups will use a combination of different colour rings on each leg to give a unique code.

Either way if ever your can indentify the ring, please make a note of it. It is very easy to find who the ringers are and to report the find and this all makes a significant contribution to our understanding of birds and their movements. Citizen Science in action.

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