As we approach July, we are heading towards the peak passage period for Mediterranean Gulls on the Axe.
Most the big flocks tend to fly past us over sea but we still get our fair share in the valley. What's best though is how they look, with the adults/near adults often sporting full summer wear, and the super fresh juveniles looking like butter wouldn't melt. It's still a bit early for the latter (mid July onwards) but at 9am this morning a small flock of Black-headed Gulls on the near shore off Coronation Corner contained these two beauts...
|Colour-ringed, awaiting to hear back the details|
|Its non-blinged mate|
|The non-ringed bird again to show how brutish it looked - presumably a male|
Today's windy weather gave some seawatching promise, and there was some success for those who were able to get out early. Five Manx Shearwaters and a Whimbrel was all I added to the tally from two short watches during the afternoon, when conditions were less than ideal as the sun decided to put in an appearance.
With a record June count of Balearic Shearwaters made in south Devon today (425 at Start Point by MD) let's hope it's a precursor for an excellent summer and autumn of seawatching in the English Channel. Big Shears for me please!