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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Scandinavian Herring Gull in Guernsey

My first real gulling session of the New Year yesterday at Chouet landfill Beach produced one of my "most wanted" gulls - a Scandinavian Herring Gull - Larus argentatus argentatus. This nominate race of Herring Gull breeds in Scandinavia and the Baltic. Although the gull winters in Western Europe (and is not uncommon in SE England in winter), I am not aware of any previous records in the Channel Islands. This is probably more a reflection that we aren't recognising the subspecies rather than them not being here in very small numbers in many winters? With this bird the black Norwegian colour ring (with data logger) was a give away for the identification.
The gull had been ringed as a breeding adult in May 2013 on the Arctic seabird island of Hornoya in Finnmark, Norway. I've previously seen three GBBGs in Guernsey from Hornoya, and was fortune enough to visit the island with my son on a fabulous birding trip to Arctic Norway in 2003.
Herring Gull Black JX355 at Chouet landfill Beach (c) PKV
The Movement of Herring Gull Black JX355 (almost 3,000 km)

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