Monday, 28 February 2022

Office Birding

Spare time is still a mega rarity in my life, so it's a good job the view from my office looks like this...

Actually this was the first time in weeks Black-tailed Godwits were feeding on the lower Estuary

I had a new species for the office today amongst the loafing gulls, just about visible in the above pic (far left).  

This adult Kittiwake didn't always look in the best health, but I hear it was still present this evening so hopefully some rest has done it the world of good...

Would have preferred a Little Gull - but nice to see something different

Although there has been good numbers of gulls on the Estuary on an almost daily basis over the past few weeks, I think passage has actually been very underwhelming compared to other years. 'Spring' in the gull world usually starts in late January, but not this year it seems.

There are good numbers of Common Gulls about, but before now we usually see a marked increase in Med Gull numbers - four has been my best one day count so far.  And although I have recorded double-figure Lesser Black-backed Gull numbers on a few dates, I've been nowhere near the three-figure mark which can occur in late Feb.  And that's not to mention the distinct lack of white-wingers or Casps!

Lesser Black-backs are always a delight to see though

Looking back at my last post, you'll remember a really dark dark-mantled Herring Gull which was probably too dark to be a typical argentatus. Well I've had three more dark-mantled large gulls since...

One was a bonafide adult Yellow-legged Gull, which managed to give me the slip seconds after I spotted it.  But thankfully, and unbeknown to me, Gav was around and managed to get some rather gripping pics of it! Wish my views were as good as this.

The second dark-mantled large gull was another 'not sure'. It was easy to pick out in the flock, but different angles often made it look less appealing, and there weren't any other clear argentatus features visible.  

Bird on the right.  Only one sub-adult Herring to compare with

The third was a far more convincing argentatus Scandinavian Herring Gull for me. Not a full adult but a hefty-looking bird and strikingly darker mantled...

Back left

And look at the amount of white in the primaries, considerably more than all surrounding argenteus. Let me know what you think - but I think I'm 'aving it...

Shame it wasn't looking the right way!

And yes, I do actually do some work too! :-)

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