Request for Reports of Sightings of Colour Ringed Gulls 


Chris Honan would be grateful if birders would look out for gulls wearing blue rings. Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls were ringed on Irelandís Eye during the summer months of 2009 and 2010 as part of a continuing study. 

The birds have blue rings with white codes on their left legs and BTO metal rings on the right.  Reports can be sent directly to

Recent sightings include a Lesser Black-backed Gull in Cadiz, Spain that was ringed on Irelandís Eye in 2009 and regular reports from Howth (up to 10 birds in two hours), Bullock Harbour and other locations along the Dublin coast. 

Details of most European colour ringing projects can be found at


  21 September 2012
Booterstown: 78 Mediterranean Gulls at Booterstown Strand this evening - including 7 ringed birds.Sean Kingston
  22 July 2012
Sandycove:  105 Mediterranean Gulls at Sandycove today.  Thirteen birds with colour rings, including three birds ringed at Sandycove in 2011.Sean Kingston
  23 June 2012
Sandycove:  9 Mediterranean Gulls, including one white-ringed bird E553.Sean Kingston
  2 June 2012
Colour ringed juvenile Herring Gull seen at Bray Harbour (Photos by Cian Merne)

was ringed last Summer on the Isle of Man

  29 February 2012
Sandycove: 41 Mediterranean Gulls including 9 first winter birds and 5 colour-ringed gulls including Irish Sandycove yellow-ringed birds 2XA0 and 2XA1.Sean Kingston
  21 February 2012
Dun Laoghaire:  Mediterranean Gulls included a Hungarian (red ringed) 1st-winter bird at Seapoint & an adult at Blackrock.Niall T. Keogh
  11 February 2012
Phoenix Park: A leucistic Black-headed Gull, promenading along Chesterfield Avenue in the Phoenix Park. As you can see it is sporting a bit of "bling" and we think the accessories reveal that it was tagged on Lough Mask. 

Update from Eoin McGreal who ringed this featured BHG:     "Black-headed Gull 252D which was colour-ringed on Lough Mask, County Mayo on 15/06/2008 and this is now the 3rd consecutive winter that it has been re-sighted in the Phoenix Park.

252D 15/06/08  
09/02/10 Phoenix Park SŤan Geraty
10/11/10 Phoenix Park SŤan Geraty
28/12/10 Phoenix Park Stephen Lawlor
11/02/12 Phoenix Park Ciaran Walsh

It is probable that this individual returned as a possible breeding adult to its natal colony in June, 2010 - a leucistic colour-ringed adult was seen briefly at the colony but unfortunately it was not possible to read the ring codes."

Leucistic Black-headed Gull in Phoenix Park (Photo by Ciaran Walsh)
  2 February 2012
Sandycove:  46 Mediterranean Gulls, comprised of 37 adults, 3 2nd-winters & 6 1st-winters, including birds ringed in France (Green) & Ireland (Yellow);  also

Blackrock: Another 1st-winter Mediterranean Gull was seen at Blackrock strand, this time ringed in Hungary (Red).Niall T. Keogh 
  10 January 2012
Sandycove:. A total of 41 Mediterranean Gulls (mainly adults) was found at Sandycove at high tide, 30 of which were perched on granite rocks at the Fortyfoot swimming place -- all showing their legs. One bird had a green ring with white inscription AH UK, ringed in NW Germany on 23 May 2009.Oscar Merne
  25 November 2011
Portmarnock:  A colour ringed 2cy Herring Gull (0JN, blue ring, left leg) and a colour ringed 1cy Black-headed Gull (T1PR, white ring, right leg - potentially Polish??).Matt Silk
  22 November 2011
Sandycove:  9 Mediterranean Gulls at Sandycove today including 2XA2 and 2XA4 both ringed at Sandycove and HK36 a juvenile Hungarian bird.Sean Kingston
  16 October 2011
Photo attached of a winter plumage adult Mediterranean Gull taken about 1 mile out to sea from Bray. This one is often seen at Sandycove. It was ringed on 16 June 2007 at Nord, France.Cian Merne

Mediterranean Gull off Bray (Photo by Cian Merne)
  24 September 2011
Howth Harbour:  2 colour ringed juvenile Herring Gulls from the Isle of Man were seen on the roof of the fish market at Howth Harbour. Both gulls had black rings with yellow lettering.   It is interesting to note that the 2 Gulls came from the extreme North and South of the Isle of Man but were seen together in Howth:    T8XP was ringed at the Point of Ayre Sand Quarry on 5th July this year and T5UA was ringed on the Calf of Man on the 27th June this year. Additional details including photographs are available at  Sean Kingston & Chris Honan
  6 July 2011
Sandycove:  Numbers of Mediterranean Gulls are building up at Sandycove, with 76 counted this morning. These were in four clusters, loafing on the rocks between the derelict baths near Dun Laoghaire East Pier and the Forty-foot swimming place near Sandycove Martello Tower. The flocks consisted of everything from juveniles to adults in full summer plumage, so there's a good opportunity to get to know the plumage phases. At least two birds had colour rings -- one English and one French. Danish, German, Dutch, Belgian and Hungarian gulls have been seen here before. These gulls are very tame and will even come to pieces of bread -- so close views and good photos are guaranteed.Oscar Merne
  24 August, 2009
Sandycove:  c.30 Med. Gulls at Sandycove, several with colour bands.Oscar Merne
  22 July, 2009
Sandycove:  44 Mediterranean Gulls at Sandycove today, c.7 of them with rings.Stewart Holohan
  25 January 2009
Sandycove:  34 Mediterranean  Gulls at Sandycove today (around noon, at full tide).  At least four of the Meds were first-winter, also several second-winter. Three of the birds had green colour-rings. Two of these were Sandycove regulars, ringed as pulli in Belgium. The third was a first-year ringed in Pas de Calais, France.Coilin McLoughlin

  6 December 2008
Merrion Gates:  At least 11 Mediterranean Gulls [8+ adults, a 2nd year and two 1st years]. Some of the Mediterranean Gulls were ringed with green or white darvic rings and we have since received information from the ringers! The birds are from Denmark ( 1 first year bird), France (1 first year bird ) and two adults from Belgium. Noel Keogh & Niall T. Keogh
  31 July 2008
Sandycove/Dalkey: A juvenile Mediterranean Gull with a green darvic ring (ringed in France) has been seen around in the past few days.Noel Keogh
  19 October 2007
Bray Harbour: A Black-headed Gull ringed in Sweden.Oscar Merne
  11 August 2007
Sandycove: Up to 54 Mediterranean Gulls, c.10 with colour rings.Stewart Holohan



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