|Black-headed Gull - JK35|
On Sunday 24th January, after completeing visits to Antrim Marina, Kinnego Marina and Lurgan Park, I popped into the car park at Kentucky Fried Chicken in Antrim on my way back home. There are always a few Black-headed Gulls to be seen here, but I've had never had any that were ringed, until now.
Around 60 BHGs were present, the most that I have ever seen here. A few gulls were standing around the car park, but most were feeding on the grass areas. Picking a spot away from other parked cars, I started throwing bread out of the window. I soon had about 40 of the gulls around me, while the remaining birds showed no interest and stayed on the grass.
I spotted a Green 'Darvic-Ring' and a few minutes later, I had obtained the code and taken numerous photos. I knew straight away, that this gull was from Norway, as their colour-rings start with the letter 'J'. Entering the code onto the Norwegian Ringing Website, I was able to see the history of this BHG.
JK35 was ringed as chick on the 18th June 2014, on the island of Vassøy, just to the north-east of the City of Stavanger. It was around 10 months before it was first spotted in the area of Farsund, 112km to the south-east. It was sighted on three occasions in four days at Farsund, the last date being on the 3rd May 2015.
JK35 was obviously returning from it's wintering quarters, as 10 days later on the 13th May, it was spotted at Store Stokkavatnet, a lake on the western outskirts of Stavanger, just 8km from where it was ringed. The next four sightings, the last being on the 5th June 2015, came from the same lake, showing that this gull spent the summer here.
On the 25th September JK35 was spotted in Stranraer, a port on the south-west coast of Scotland, 798 kms from the original ringing site. My sighting on Sunday is the latest, which shows this gull wintered somewhere in Ireland and used Stranraer as a 'stop-over'.
Black-headed Gull - JK35 - KFC, Antrim Town (24 Jan 2016)
Map Showing The Ringing and Sighting Locations of JK35
Stavanger to the north, Farsund to the south-east, Stranraer in Scotland and Antrim, NI.
The distance from the Island of Vassøy, Norway to Antrim is 868km / 539 miles