Sunday, 22 June 2014

Summer (gull) loving

It's definitely that time of year where if you're not up for a bit of birding boredom, you start looking at flowers and the like. And here in London, it's not exactly full of breeding birds either. I watched a pair of Oystercatchers today and yesterday at Crossness, feeding their single young copious amounts of worms while Shelduck ducklings in their 'nurseries' are always nice enough. So the highlights of a couple of visits to Crossness this weekend - a 3rd-summer Yellow-legged Gull and a Little Egret. Pretty slim pickings.

But, as usual, there is always something to be found amongst London's skanky non-breeding, immature gulls that loaf about places such as Rotherhithe and Crossness at this time of year. Nothing yet in the way of interesting species (but I'm grilling all those Black-headed Gulls at Crossness) but the rings are starting to come in again after a dearth of sightings in April/early May.
Great Black-backed Gull KK2T - photographed in Rotherhithe on 17th June 2012. Looks rather more mature these days...
Along with a handful of locally ringed 1st-summer Herrings Gulls, I saw a 3rd-summer Great Black-backed Gull at Crossness last Sunday. Seems like I've been stalking this bird. LK2T was ringed at Rainham as a 1st-winter on 17th December 2011. I saw it for the first time on the mud off the Hilton Hotel, Rotherhithe on 16th and 17th June 2012, then at Crossness on 7th September 2013... with nobody else having reported it at all. This either shows the lack of observers watching gulls in London (away from places like Rainham and Beddington), or that most people probably have better things to do with their time. Make your own mind up I suppose.

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