Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Grey but great for gulls

The Safari was out counting Magpies in Magpie Wood and we got 58 of the giant Pied Wagtails. The Peregrine was still present on its ledge and the lower Song Thrush was singing – is this same one as was singing up by the sub-station yesterday evening? The golf course Mistle Thrush was also singing as was a Blackbird, admittedly very half-heartedly, from a garden adjacent to the far side of the park. A small number of Robins were getting vocal before the dawn...getting towards the time when they are going to be countable.
The morning visit was a little later than we like as we had to wait for it to get light enough to see. It wasn’t over inspiring but we immediately connected with a long string of Cormorants, and another and another with a few stragglers here and there too. Nothing like yesterday’s numbers at only about 265 but we’ve no idea how many might have already gone past before we got out on site. Once the Cormorants had passed not a lot was happening and rain was in the air so enough was enough.
At lunchtime the tide was too high for the video we promised but there was a non-stop passage of gulls coming from the north and heading towards the estuary, there were thousands going past.

Not needing much of an excuse we set the camera to ‘rapid fire’ and clicked away about 1000 times. 90% of what went past were Black Headed and Herring Gulls, only low hundreds of Common Gulls and just two Lesser Black Backs. With all the Black Headed Gulls we thought the chances of picking up a Mediterranean Gull were high but none appeared.
After looking at and quickly deleting most of what we took we went back out to see if the Black Head feeding frenzy was on again, if it was we’d missed it. The tide was well down the beach and most of the grounded gulls to the northern end of Patch 2 were just resting. However, to the south, the ‘normal’ bit there was an area of intense Herring Gull activity. More were coming in from the north in a continual stream. Couldn’t make out what they were so interested in but one of them, being chased by several others, whipped over the wall and dropped this Pod Razor right at our feet. Almost all afternoon through the office window we could see a constant procession of gulls southwards, barely a single one was seen going the opposite direction to the throng, if we’d have time to sit and enjoy it, it would have turned into an Attenborough-esque wildlife spectacle.
Where to next? Will get those Black Heads feeding on the fish videoed for you if it kills us.
In the meantime let us know what’s at the top of the menu in your outback.

Just a handful of the 400+ pics taken - no pseudo-science just pics - enjoy - the second one down has a Sanderling in the bottom corner.

1 comment:

Monika said...

So where were all those gulls going, and why were there so many of them? Sounds like quite a spectacle!