We visited Pembroke Millponds again, in a vague hope of seeing the Iceland Gull from the other day in better light. The light wasn’t much better, and the gull wasn’t there. But we had a look around anyway.

Towards the railway end of the middle pond, a floating platform provides a roosting site for birds – mostly black-headed gulls and cormorants. As the gulls are usually standing, any that have been ringed are obvious. Today, we found a black-headed gull with a black ring. I took a few photos and could see obvious white numbers/letters. WIth his longer lens and a camera with more pixels, Bob had more luck.

We don’t have any details yet, but the first letter was an X, which suggests the bird was ringed in the eastern part of Germany.

While many of the other gulls reacted to people throwing out bread for them, this one didn’t seem interested. Perhaps it had eaten well. Perhaps it had recently arrived and didn’t know the routine.

One of the cormorants also carried a ring, but this was a regular metal ring, and at that distance there was no chance of reading the numbers.

Mute swan family – the female (the ringed bird) is on the far right.

The Millponds are also known for their high population of mute swans – far more live here than the place can support, but there are a lot of people who like feeding the birds, and the swans (along with the mallard and gulls) aren’t going to say no to a free meal, even if it is junk food. One of the swans was ringed, and Bob managed to read the ring – and also photograph it for confirmation. This bird was ringed about a mile away – mute swans don’t generally move very far – four years ago. She was with her mate and five cygnets from last summer.