Sunday, 19 July 2015

Yellow-legged Gull heaven in southeast London

Since the last update, I've tried to get myself out locally as much as possible. It's a good time of year here in Rotherhithe and it seems also in Greenwich. That is, if gulls are your thing. With quite a few non-birding commitments last weekend, I decided to spend the time I had at Greenwich by the O2 - and along with several ringed gulls, on the Saturday there were eight Yellow-legged Gulls (a near-adult, two 1st-summers and five juveniles) and on Sunday even more - 13 birds (two near-adults, a 1st-summer and ten or so juveniles).

juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls Greenwich, London 11th and 12th July 2015
The working week was more hectic than it needed to be given it was the last full week of term; however on Tuesday evening the first Yellow-legged Gull - with yellow legs - in Rotherhithe this year was on the mud by the Hilton Hotel. The next evening there was a juvenile there too, along with an adult Common Gull.

sub-adult Yellow-legged Gull Rotherhithe, London 14th July 2015
And on to yesterday, Saturday. What is evident now is the upsurge in local juvenile gulls - the mud by the O2 yesterday morning held four juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, but they were now outnumbered by juvenile Herring Gulls (along with a couple of typically dusky juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gulls).
juvenile Yellow-legged Gull Greenwich, London 18th July 2015
Back in Rotherhithe, a bit of bread chucking on the River Thames near my flat produced the results quickly - a Norwegian white ringed Black-headed Gull and then two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls.
juvenile Yellow-legged Gull Rotherhithe, London 18th July 2015
adult Black-headed Gull Rotherhithe, London 18th July 2015; ringed as a chick in Oslo, Norway in August 2011 and not seen since then
So that's that. I'll be heading off to Dungeness shortly for another session of gulls by the fishing boats with Mick S and Richard S...

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