A lesser black-backed gull seen in Sumburgh this month was ringed in southern Europe.
Jim Irvine from Sumburgh Farm is highly regarded by the local birding fraternity and he spotted this colour-ringed lesser black-backed gull in a cut silage field at Grutness earlier this month. Roger Riddington took the photo below from Jim’s tractor cab, which clearly showed the ring code: F033. It turned out that the bird had been ringed at Olhao, near Faro, in southern Portugal, on 22 May 2011.
Lesser black-backed gulls breed in Shetland and spend the winter mainly off the coasts of Iberia and north-west Africa. There are a few recoveries of Shetland-ringed chicks in Portugal but this is the first record of a Portuguese-ringed bird in Shetland (although it may well have been hatched in Shetland, or elsewhere in northern Scotland).