Saturday, 13 July 2013

This year's youths are released

It's been wall to wall sunshine since last Sunday's post. What that has meant is breeding birds have been in overdrive ,and it has been nice to get out and about locally. Rotherhithe has been quiet, though I had two Lapwing over yesterday evening; normally a bird I'd associate with cold weather movements in Inner London, as opposed to post-breeding dispersal like these birds.
adult Mediterranean Gull Crossness 13th July 2013
Crossness is now packed with birds, 99% of these being Black-headed Gulls. I spent an enjoyable evening here on Thursday, as well as today, just lapping up the close views in the warm light. Just one adult Mediterranean Gull and an adult Common Gull in amongst them. Though I must admit that each year I think the same - juvenile Black-headed Gulls are mega looking birds and each one is very different. The extent of the nape shawl through to the amount of scapular, covert and tail moult... just feast your eyes on these bad boys, some of them already moulting through to 1st-winter plumage.

On Thursday, I also managed to see my first juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull for the year while juvenile Common Terns were present then and tonight too. Highlight tonight though was a Sandwich Tern heading rapidly west midriver, calling as it went. Bizarrely, when I was at Rainham RSPB this morning watching a rather nice but heat-hazed adult Pectoral Sandpiper, I mentioned to Nick Croft that days like today can be decent for Sandwich Terns. So it proved. While trying to locate gulls (unsuccessfully) on the foreshore near the stone barges - they're tipping out of sight currently - a Crossbill flew west calling; a bit of a surprise but there seem to be a few moving at the moment.

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