Like every year, Lesser black-backed gulls arrive back in Belgium after winter. In Gent, mainly birds from the colonies in Zeeland (Vlissingen) can be seen (at least, the ringed birds come from there). In spring 2009, I started to visit some places to record the arrival of these birds, and this resulted in 26 different c-ringed birds observed between the end of March and the end of May (some Herrings from these colonies were seen too). Only one of these birds was ringed in Zeebrugge, they seem to follow a more coastal migration route north.
This year I started a little bit earlier, and so far I have seen 35 different birds. Some of these are birds seen last year too, but quite a few of them are new ones for me. The Belgian bird returned too, and another one was seen too (see picture below), plus a metal-ringed Belgian LBBG.
Yellow 88, ringed as a chick in Vlissingen in 2006 (RJ Buijs), and observed in Gent on April 4th. This bird was observed twice before, both times in Spain.
Red HY, ringed as an adult in Vlissingen in 2007 (RJ Buijs), and seen already several times this spring in Gent. Has already been observed in Portugel.
Blue PN, ringed as an adult in Zele (Belgium) (F. Roels) in 2006, seen last year in July in Gent, and now again this spring
Red ER, ringed as an adult in Vlissingen (2007?), and seen last weekend in Gent.
Blue BBAH, the best c-ringed bird so far this spring in Gent, a 12 year old bird, ringed in 1999 as a chick in Zeebrugge, Belgium (project of E. Stienen)
No gull, but a picture I took during fieldwork in the dunes in early April, while Robins, Blackbirds, Chiffchaffs etc. were singing, so definately a spring picture!
From the land of ice and Blackcaps
3 days ago