Saturday, July 16, 2011

More migration towards the Atlantic

Audouin's Gulls Ichthyaetus audounii are not the only gulls now leaving the Mediterranean  for the rich waters of the Atlantic (post of 10th July). The attractive Mediterranean Gulls Icthyaetus melanocephalus are also on the move.

Many of the birds coming past are adults, with very worn plumage after breeding and already in head moult

Juveniles, noticeably browner and greyer than the adults, follow the adults on migration (above) though often adults also travel without youngsters (below)

Immature birds are also moving. Above is a first summer bird already going into second winter plumage. Below is a second summer bird, looking almost like an adult but with black outer primaries

Also moving out of the Mediterranean are Black-headed Gulls Chroicocephalus ridibundus, and they travel in larger groups, of adults and juveniles.

All this activity does not go unnoticed. Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus fly close to the sea (see post of 12th July), ever watchful of an opportunity to take one of these small gulls...

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