Sunday, 2 April 2017

Clinging on to London's gulls

As soon as that sun starts to shine, London transforms. People come out of hibernation while the gulls do the opposite - they head off elsewhere. You could argue otherwise out in West London at the moment, where remarkably the juvenile Glaucous Gull presented itself at the boat race today and a juvenile Iceland Gull lingers, but here in the Rotherhithe/O2/Thames Barrier area things are a bit too Spring like for my liking! Not always a bad thing mind, as when I came out of school yesterday after supervising a Saturday detention, the melancholy Willow Warbler tune greeted me for the first time this year.

Yesterday Dante and I spent a few hours at Thames Barrier Park where we had four Yellow-legged Gulls (two 1st-winters and two 2nd-winters) including this one that showed rather nicely: -

1st-winter Yellow-legged Gull Thames Barrier Park, London 1st April 2017

The 1st-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull from Denmark that was about last Sunday was again at the Thames Barrier, as was a new Herring Gull that had either been ringed in Cambs or Norfolk: -
1st-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull Cap Gris V.JZ4 Thames Barrier Park, London 1st April 2017 - ringed in Denmark and seen in West London in February
2nd-winter Herring Gull 7H6B Thames Barrier Park, London 1st April 2017 - a new ringed bird, which will have either been ringed in Cambs or Norfolk
I spent a couple of hours this morning at the O2 with Dante, Jamie, Dave and Martin. After Nick Senior's major haul of Caspian Gulls here yesterday, we failed to see any. There was an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a few rings to pass time: -
2nd-winter Herring Gull 537 Greenwich, London 2nd April 2017 - ringed as a chick in Portland harbour, Dorset in June 2015, then seen near Calais, France in December 2016 and finally by me at Lyle Park on 2nd January 2017 but not since
adult Herring Gull V9FT Greenwich, London 2nd April 2017 - the most regular of the ringed gulls that I see
 And finally, a couple of Little Ringed Plovers nearby seemed pretty chirpy being back until they realised their breeding site from last year had been built on. Seems to be the way of the world here in London; gentrification has to take place but doesn't always take into account man or beast.
Little Ringed Plover Greenwich, London 2nd April 2017

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