Friday, 21 February 2020

Seaton Hole Gull Roost

Came back from a family day out today (more on that later) at about 4:30pm, and headed straight to the river for a last gasp look at the gulls.  The tide was high however and as a result numbers weren't great, so I nipped to Seaton Hole. Well I say 'nipped' but I actually ended up spending almost an hour there!

This was my first dusk visit to Seaton Hole this winter, and the gull roost was really impressive.  Numbers were constantly building right up to dusk, and the main small gull flock was pretty close in (probably due to the south west wind).

A small part of the flock

Although there were few large gulls (most seemed to head around the corner to Beer), among the small gulls were 680+ Common Gull and by the end of my stint 56 Med Gulls.  There's at least seven just in this shot...

I thought this was a good scenario to test the capabilities of the P900 out, as I was wondering if I did manage to pick something subtle out like a Bonaparte's or Ring-billed Gull, what kind of quality image would I be able to get?

This is a no zoom shot...

This is with about 25x optical zoom (with a single gull circled)...

And this is at about 95x zoom (so using full optical zoom of 83x with some digital zoom as well)...

Yes that's the Med Gull that's circled in the above pic, which is also in theory in the shot above that.  So to answer my own question, yes, I would be able to get a more than identifiable pic if there was a Ross's Gull sat out there with the Black-heads!  Seriously impressive kit. Especially when you consider the poor light conditions as well as the lumpy sea.

Rewinding a few hours, we'd enjoyed a lovely day on Dartmoor and at Stover CP.  As ever it was a lovely walk around the lake, and good to see Mandarin have really made themselves at home here.  A couple of years ago they'd often be around, but hidden away in quiet corners, but today...

Harry feeding the ducks! 

There were nine in total

Love 'em or hate 'em - they are lookers!

There were a few Tufted Duck out on the lake, no Goosanders today but a single female Pochard...

Don't see many of these being an Axe birder!

There were plenty of Siskin around in the trees as well, along with the usual woodland-species that always seem abundant here.

1 comment:

  1. I have fond memories of that gull roost Steve. Funny to think that the rarest bird it's yet produced is a warbler!!

    Kind of... ;-)