|Seagull (part of)|
This is a post about Gulls. Not in praise of Gulls, just about Gulls. I don't often spend time thinking about Gulls but it has just occured to me that we have had ten species on the patch this year. Ten! Isn't that amazing? Having just checked the historical records over on the other blog that we collectively contribute to I can see that in fact ten species of Gull is all we have ever had. Incredible therefore to get them all within a few weeks. To save you clicking through (and to flesh out this post - there is only so much I can say about Gulls), here is the relevant extract from our site list.
Black-headed Gull: Resident, with significant increase in winter.
Counts of 400+ not unusual on the Flats in winter. During flooding caused by heavy rains on Wanstead Flats on 28th February 2010, an estimated 2000+ birds were present.
Kittiwake: Very rare
Mediterranean Gull: Scarce annual visitor
2014 had reports of at least 6 birds, so probably increasing
Herring Gull: Regular winter visitor
Yellow-legged Gull: Scarce visitor
2017 was a good year with a number of sightings reported including 2 birds that became resident from September onwards by Alexandra Lake (2w and 3w).
Caspian Gull: Rare winter visitor
A 1st winter bird on Alex 4th-5th November 2018 (NC,JH)
Great Black-backed Gull: Scarce winter visitor
An adult has been regular on the Brick pit in the past few winters
A record of 41 on the Flats on 7th October 2001 is exceptional
Lesser Black-backed Gull: Resident breeder
Most of these gulls are regular. I could go out on pretty much any winter day and come home, figuratively speaking, with four species, and quite possibly five or six. Common Gulls are probably the, err, commonest in winter, with many hundreds loafing around on the football pitches, but the Black-headed Gulls give them a run for their money. There are generally always a handful of Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls around, and in extremely wet weather these numbers can swell dramatically as they paddle-feed on the saturated short grass. Great Black-backed Gull is most often a flyover although they occasionally come down for a bit, and if we have a Yellow-legged Gull they can quite often be faithful to a particular pond or puddle for a few days. The others are little less predictable. Caspian Gull is probably more regular than Med Gull at the moment, but previously it has been the other way around, and Kittiwake remains a very hard bird to get on the list. And as for Iceland Gull.....
|1W large but slim Seagull|