Sunday, 12 March 2017

A weekend of transition

Nobody likes change. I don't, particularly when all my winter gulls seem to be leaving! This weekend was the first in a long while when I didn't see a Caspian Gull, and given the winter we've had, that is saying something. I visited Dungeness yesterday afternoon and despite the offerings from Mick S and Richard S, there wasn't a single Casp to be found. Just a Norwegian ringed adult Great Black-backed Gull and a single, regular 2nd-winter Yellow-legged Gull. With the sun shining and the sea calm, while I'd been watching the gulls, this male Wheatear had presumably been flying over the English Channel...
male Wheatear Dungeness, Kent 11th March 2017
So the first Wheatear of the year on 11th March signals the start of spring for me. It was one of those moments yesterday, where in the warm evening sun the bird was actively feeding on the shingle, I contemplated where it had wintered and where it was off to. Migration is fantastic - just wish I lived in Texas, Ohio, Hong Kong or Israel rather than London!

Today's offer was extremely sedate. Local stuff with Dante produced three Yellow-legged Gulls (two second-winters and a first-winter) at Thames Barrier Park, although a Curlew downriver at 9.30am was a decent record and another sign of early spring. They're pretty typical in London this time of the year, while a couple of Oystercatchers were nice and vocal there too. Back in Rotherhithe, a North Thames ringed Black-headed Gull 2BSV that was about the last couple of weekends (and was in full winter plumage on 25th February) now had a full hood: -
adult Black-headed Gull 2BSV Canada Water 12th March 2017 - ringed at Rainham, London on 2nd March 2013 and seen at Getlini Rubbish Dump, Riga, Latvia on 13th April 2013, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk on 2nd and 18th October 2013 then Getlini Rubbish Dump, Riga, Latvia again on 16th and 17th April 2014 and Cardiff, South Glamorgan on 29th December 2014 before turning up at Canada Water, Rotherhithe on 26th Februart 2017 
So that was that. A pretty bang average weekend predictably, given that winter is fast disappearing and spring is yet to kick off.

No comments:

Post a Comment