Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gull day

Yellow-legged Gull

Gulls were prominent today, and not just the local Yellow-legs. The westerlies that brought some Audouin's Gulls yesterday produced many more today and the winds took them much closer inshore. Most were adult birds returning to the breeding colonies and travelling in small flocks. They are in mint condition right now. They must be the most elegant of gulls.

Adult Audouin's Gull

Yellow-legged Gull for comparison

Some Lesser black-backed Gulls were also displaced from their Atlantic wintering areas (see 15 Feb posting)

Audouin's Gulls (above and below) on the move

The rain produced a small fall of Black Redstarts, clearly new birds - behaving differently from the wintering birds and turning up in unusual locations. These migrants are particularly preoccupied with feeding to refuel. Other migrants today included Stonechats, White Wagtails and a Hoopoe.

 Black Redstart today

Migrant White Wagtail

Black Kite gets through between squalls. Some Short-toed Eagles also made it

Cormorants (above) and Shags (below) were busy feeding in the green, silty, water caused by river discharge after the rains

Shag dives for fish 

Gulls made the most of rain water pools to remove salt and grime (above and below)

Feeling cleaner now!

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