Friday 27 November 2015

In praise of gulls - surely not...

Dungeness - mild, cloudy, drizzle, sw 3-5 - A grey old day with an increasingly rain-laden wind sweeping up-Channel - We wandered down to the Patch where several hundred common gulls were wheeling over the boil and sat on the sea, chiefly Black-headed and Herring Gulls. In amongst the throng were a couple of 1st winter Little Gulls fluttering along the scum line. Offshore 2 Red-breasted Mergansers and Red-throated Divers passed west with several Gannets further out. On the way off the estate I stopped to chat with DW who`d just located a 1st winter Caspian Gull on the beach roost amongst the larger gulls and actually made the effort to `scope it...

                                 Long-eared Owl, RSPB reserve

RSPB - The Long-eared Owl spent its third day roosting in sallows by the discovery pond and if anything was showing slighter better than on Wednesday. On Burrowes lake staff and volunteers have done a superb job of clearing the islands in front of the visitor centre of vegetation. Most of the wildfowl (including 4 each of Smew and Goldeneye) and gulls were at the Scott hide end sheltering from the wind, plus 2 Shelducks in front of Firth. From Makepeace hide an adult Caspian Gull showed well on one of the closer islands. Over the road on ARC plenty more wildfowl, including 4 Goldeneyes and 4 Shelducks, where there was also a report of a drake Smew earlier.
However, I`m becoming increasingly worried that I may be going gull ga-ga and moving over to the `Dark Side`, as I seem to be studying gulls more closely of late. It must be some sort of osmosis effect, absorbed from the Dungeness gull lords; I even found a Caspo on Lade last week, and Meds on the sands at low tide. There I go again, I`m even using the gully terminology - Caspo, Meds and all that.
If this carries on I may need counselling by the end of the winter...

                               Adult Caspian Gull, Burrowes

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