I just popped into Hayle estuary, Cornwall, the other week after ringing at Marazion Marsh (standard monitoring for Aquatic Warblers, but all we caught were Sedge and Reed). Since moving down to the southwest a few weeks ago, this is the first time I'd really grilled the gulls here, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a colour-ringed Herring Gull, with a combination (A3WY) that looked a bit familiar.
It turns out this was a bird rehabilitated by RSPCA and colour-ringed on release. I'm more used to seeing these on the beach at Hastings begging for chips! It had been picked up unable to walk back in June 2009 and after a few weeks R&R was released at West Hatch, near Taunton, Somerset. So it was good to see it back in its native Cornwall, looking healthy and happy again!
Thanks to RSPCA for the quick return of details of this bird, and it just goes to show that even the commonest birds can have interesting stories. So do keep an eye out for colour-ringed birds, and report them to the BTO.