Evidence is emerging that Lesser Black-backed Gulls tend to complete their northbound spring migrations back to Western European nesting grounds from Iberia and NW Africa both quickly and directly, whereas the reverse migration in autumn is generally more leisurely and often less direct. Of course with every good rule there are exemptions…and LBBG Black 1.X1 which breeds in the Channel Islands and winters in Iberia is such a rule breaker! It has been reported today by Pepe Vidal (along with another Guernsey colour ringed LBBG – Black 3AJ7) from Pantin Beach, Valdovino, A Coruna in NW Spain. I know this gull very well, having observed it frequently in each if the past three summers…with my last sighting at Chouet, Guernsey being only four days ago! This bird has therefore travelled a minimum distance of around 800 km in a maximum of four days (c 200 km per day)…to me this bird has been in some hurry to get south!
LBBG Black 1.X1 Pantin, Spain 14 August 2012 (c) Pepe Vidal
LBBG Black 1.X1 at Chouet, Guernsey March 2012