A black headed gull is spotted at Musselburgh

A black headed gull
A black headed gull

You may recall a previous article about the Black Headed Gulls from Norway which Winter on local coasts.

I used to have to try to photograph their metal rings from both sides to read them.

Thankfully they are now having an additional colured ring fitted which is readable with the naked eye.

Meet J9J9, who is currently at Fisherow beach.

The bird was rung as a three year old at Engervannet near Oslo on April 14 last year.

It was next seen there a few weeks later on June 30, 2012.

On October 29, a local birder saw it on the Esk at Musselburgh, by which time it had lost its black head as the species does outwith the breeding season.

April this year saw the bird back in Norway only a kilometer from it’s ringing site.

On July 23, it was seen in Musselburgh again, only a week prior to my own sighting.

Musselburgh is over 900 kilometers from the bird’s Norwegian haunts, almost all of which is the North Sea.

I don’t know about you, but this kind of stuff fascinates me.

Now that rings can be read by eye, maybe with the help of a crust or two, there is no reason why you cannot join in.

Ringed Black Headed Gulls have been found at Duddingston Loch, the Esk at Musselburgh and Fisherrow harbour and beach.

Next time I log into the internet to check up on J9J9, I look forward to seeing your report!