The Lesser Black-backed Gull has arrived, the very first migrator to signal the changing of the seasons. Spring, however, seems we off as the weather has been at its very worst. But this is a promising sign, an indicator for the weather gods to change course and bring us some warmer winds.
The Lesser Black-backed Gull is usually one of the earliest arrivals in Iceland, or perhaps the very first to arrive as early as February. They spend a few winter months by the shores of the Iberian peninsula and North West Africa. It is the only gull that is a complete migrator in Iceland. The Lesser Black-backed Gull started breeding in Iceland in the 1920s and the breeding population now counts around 50,000 pairs.
The Lesser Blackback (Larus fuscus) started breeding in Iceland around 1920. Since then its numbers have been increasing and now the Lesser Blackback is a breeding bird in all lowlands. It is the only Gull that is a migratory bird here, having winter grounds in the Pyrenees Mountains and North West Africa. They come back to Iceland very early, before spring arrives. The first Lesser Blackback arrived here in February. The breeding population counts around 50,000 pairs.
This photo is taken in Selfoss April 16, 2014, the second time I came across this indivual bird. It was banded as a small chick in August 2003 in Garðaholti in Álftanes. The first time I saw it was also in Selfoss May 9, 2011.