The arrival of overcast, damp and windy weather over the last few days has prompted an increase in gull activity on the Estuary, including a really nice flurry of (mostly juvenile) Yellow-legged Gulls.
It's been a poor summer for them here, having managed just one before this blog post. The same can be said for much of the UK with numbers well below average, but all of sudden they are here and here in style. Easily my best ever series of records for the Axe...
The evening of 23rd gave me four Yellow-legged Gulls from Tower Hide, three juvenile and a bright second-summer.
The 25th gave two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls from Tower Hide at about 5pm, along with my first juvenile Great Black-backed Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gulls of the season.
The 27th offered four more juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, including one of the most photogenic ones I've ever had the pleasure of seeing, and one of the largest most brutish ones I've ever seen!
I literally have a hundred photos, so will only pick the best for this post, enjoy...
|Today's showy juvenile, which was hanging around outside my office for about ten minutes mid morning|
|Same bird as above, showing the upperwing of a classic YLG like a treat|
|The final pic of today's close juv, here with two Herring Gulls and a Great Black-backed Gull - all juveniles|
|Another of today's, this being the big pale one. Couldn't get over how thickset the bill was!|
|Showing how advanced the scapular moult is, with several first-winter feathers on show|