When it comes to birdwatchers, gulls are a bit like Marmite; we either love them or hate them!
Personally I think these are fantastic birds, totally underappreciated and misunderstood. If however, you are someone who dismisses gulls when out and about, make sure you take a second glance at gulls in North-East Scotland from now on, paying special attention to their left legs, as you may see something you weren’t expecting.
Ben Herschell of Tay Ringing Group and Euan Ferguson of Grampian Ringing Group are undertaking a colour-ringing study of gulls, which Euan has imaginatively entitled, “The North East Scotland Gull Project”.
As part of the study yellow Darvic rings with black writing are being fitted to both juvenile and adult gulls, depending on what the guys can manage to catch.
Although the objective of project is primarily targeting Herring Gulls, colour rings have also been fitted to a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls, two Great Black-backed Gulls and even a Glaucous Gull (by those lucky boys up North!).
The project began at the end of May, and so far over 250 birds have been caught, mostly by hand, studied and ringed.
Euan and Ben are asking birdwatchers and the general public to keep an eye out for the gulls, and report your sightings to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) via their website.
Unfortunately I am having problems uploading photographs to the blog at the minute, however, if you visit the Grampian Ringing Group Blog (link below) you can see from their photos, all the gulls have a yellow ring on the left leg, with the letter T followed by a colon and three numbers.
Visit the Tay Ringing Group website by clicking here.
Read the Grampian Ringing Group’s blog by clicking here.