19 Mar 2018

Med Gull on the patch!

We've been getting a large pre-breeding gathering of Black-headed Gulls in the fields all round the house recently. Last year we had a Med Gull on the 1st March so I was keen to get one on the 2018 patch list so diligently set about working my way through the large flock of Black-headed Gulls every time I got the chance.

Friday afternoon I was in the garden when  I heard a Med Gull briefly. After scoping the fields I could see from the back garden I eventually found an adult summer plumaged bird a couple of fields away. Something spooked them and they promptly flew and I never saw it again that day.

Saturday morning saw me checking out the gulls that had landed in the field opposite the house from the study. Frustratingly they were very mobile and kept getting up in a 'dread' and flying around. No Med Gull but even more frustratingly I picked up a colour ringed Black-headed Gull very close to the house but couldn't get enough on it to read the three letter combination as the ring was quite muddy where the gull had been paddling around in the mire. The combination of a white darvic with a black three letter code suggests it was ringed in Denmark. All  I got were two possible letters - M & V.

Another 'dread' and I couldn't find it again as all the birds moved to far away and either landed on the pond or crouched facing into the wind along side it.

Whilst searching for this bird the Med Gull suddenly made a very brief appearance and I managed a short video (8 seconds) before it flew off never to reappear again that day!

A very cold and frustrating day. Still  I did manage 39 species from the window though! Mind you the return of the snow on Sunday brought with it more Snipe and a greater selection of wildfowl (Pinkfeet, Greylag & Canada Goose, Shoveller, Teal, Mallard & Wigeon) and I ended up with 42 species without leaving the warmth of the house! I did go for a walk later but failed to add anymore species.

The Med Gull brings me up to 72 species this year for the patch with all but 1 (Kingfisher) being seen from the house or garden.

Friday afternoon was much more pleasant and finishing work early gave me enough time to to walk Station Rd, Burton along the marshes to the Harp for a fish finger butty and a pint with Jan and our 'grand' puppy. Its a shame I didn't take the camera as we had stunning views of 4 Short--eared Owls hunting in an area just south of Denhall Quay. Best of all, as we were walking back to the car, an adult male Hen Harrier drifted over our heads inland over some maize stubble.

No comments :