Saturday 12 February 2011

Gulls, Gulls, Gulls

Larophobes look away now! I didn't mention it yesterday, but Nick pulled out a Med Gull on the Flats. I twitched it on the school run, and it was quite superb. An adult, with the hood moulting in. Out birding properly on the Flats this morning, I found it again west of Alex, and proceeded to chase it around for an hour before giving up. It may or may not be the same bird as last year (which was also an adult), but if it is, this time around it is a lot flightier, and I couldn't get near it. About a million joggers, two million dog-walkers and an old duffer who walked right through the middle of the loafing birds didn't help matters, but even so I'm not sure I stood much of a chance.

Really good numbers of Herring Gulls on the Western Flats first thing, though only two Lesser Black-backeds. The real numbers, as always, were made up by the Common and Black-headed Gulls. I'd conservatively estimate 700 of the former, and perhaps 3-400 of the latter. What we were all looking for though was a Ring-Billed Gull. Nick felt he had one yesterday, but it flew off before it could be nailed for sure. With so many smaller Gulls there is a least a chance of one, just as with the Med, though obviously it's somewhat rarer. To cut a long story short, even though we had scopes and everything, there was nothing that stood out - apart from the Med obviously. There is always tomorrow though.

Sorry about all the Gulls. Every now and again it just has to be done. The next post will be a soothing one about Squirrels and Coots.

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