Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Little Gulls

Lade - warm, dry and sunny, SW 2 - At least the east wind relented overnight and swung round to a more `normal` vector this morning, although not in time for another poor catch in the garden moth trap. On the local patch a number of feral swans and geese have already moved onto south lake in preparation for their annual moult. I watched a family of Mallards commit suicide as for some unknown reason they crossed the widest part of the lake with ducklings, all eight of them were soon predated by Herring Gulls from the coastal housing colony.

                                1st summer Little and Black-headed Gulls

                                Oystercatcher family

Dungeness - A circular walk for RSPB this morning was of interest for a wide range of plant species; seven species of butterflies, including Painted Lady and Small Tortoiseshell; Black-tailed Skimmer dragonflies and many Blue-tailed, Common Blue and Azure Damselflies. Birdwise the only migrants noted were several Lapwings, a Whimbrel, Dunlin and two Swifts. The islands on Burrowes harboured two Avocets, 12 Curlews, Redshanks, Ringed Plovers, Oystercatchers, Common Terns on three islands and plenty of post breeding eclipse Pochards and Gadwalls on the water, plus Egyptian Goose, five Teal and five Shovelers.
  A small flock of mainly Black-headed Gulls in front of Firth hide contained an obvious first summer Little Gull and another odd looking immature gull which I mulled over for a while. It was between Little and Black-headed Gull in size and I must admit that Bonaparte`s Gull crossed my mind, but the legs weren't either short or pale enough for that species. In the end I went for Little Gull at the larger end of the size range. Common and Herring Gulls both had young on the islands and nest boxes. Elsewhere across the site Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, five Cuckoos and all the usual breeding warblers noted.

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