Sunday, March 02, 2008

Gulls, Gulls, Gulls...




Above - Adult Med Gull - Look at the bill on that!



Above - Yes I know, its an Eider, but you need to do something when the gulls aren't playing...( click on any image for a larger view)

This morning dawned windy and cold with a strong W7, but it was quite bright with odd fine showers.

Due to the inclement weather I thought I would make the most of the morning by starting early and targetting gulls. I was at Boulmer for 7.30am and headed north to view the steel and Howdiemont bay. Plenty of gulls were on show but only BHG, CG, HG and GBBG. Highlight here were my first Fulmars of the year when 5 flew North. Another Purple Sandpiper was on the shore. 29 Dunlin were below the cliffs but there was little else of note.

Alnmouth was the next stop. Hoping to get a glimpse of the Grocers cachinnans ( ooh er missus) I checked the whole estuary but large gulls were conspicuous by their absence.

Onwards and upwards so next stop was Amble Harbour. The tide was high now but there were very few gulls around, other than Black headeds. A quick check of these at the little shore soon revealed a nice adult Mediterranean Gull well into summer plumage. It carried a darvic ring which looked to read YJ02 in red.( 06/03/08 the ring reads YJU7) If anyone knows where it was from let me know....ta.

Return journey was via Amble Braid towards Warkworth. This is where they've got to! Loads of Herring Gulls along here but no white wings and only 3 Lesser black backs for interest.

Then it was off home for lunch.

This evening a ghostly Barn Owl flew over the farm near Wooden between Warkworth and Amble while it was still daylight...






Above - Some shots to compare the Med Gull with Black headed Gulls. Note the wing tip pattern, white on Med and more rounded, the build of the bird, Med is larger and thicker set, hood colour and shape and importantly bill size and structure. The structural differences stay constant regardless of the age of the birds...

75. Fulmar.

7 comments:

Newton Stringer said...

Pic no2 is a beauty !! Top birds meds....

Martin said...

By jingo.... your Eider... is it... yes, a borealis?

Border Reiver said...

Nice shots of Med and BHG to show the differences. Spring is nearly here, which is why it's snowing. 9 yellowhammers in one field in Dorset yesterday, a flash of colour to brighen up any day.

oldcrow61 said...

Wonderful shots.

Dean ( mostlymacro ) said...

Stewart, re: Med Gull i think you may get a response from here
buza@ravangrad.net

It`s the only colour ringing project that starts with the letter Y. Oh & i think the zero could be the letter O.

Rare Visitor said...

Thanks for trying, I ain't seen it again since either. Won't submit it as not enough to prove it. (Caspian Gull).

Boulmer Birder said...

All - thanks.
Martin - The bird did have a yellow bill, but wasn't borealis I'm afraid it was probably 'boulmarensis'...a little known taxa from Coquet Island. Either that or the artist is hopeless...

Dean - I'll check that ta...