Friday, 11 September 2009

Hat-trick of Med darvics, and a (probable) YLG

Exciting to find a new colour-ringed adult Med Gull on the shore btwn Seton Burn and Wrecked Craigs this evening, code PJU6, also a red right leg ring (like Cherry Blossom) but a rather different looking individual with a darker ear spot and blunt rear end with primaries growing. This bird is also Polish ringed - caught as an adult on 12 May this year at Mietkow resr, Wroclaw, SW Poland (map), this being the first resighting. Stood on a small rock just offshore very close to a 1st-win (unringed) individual, in idyllic conditions with a full sunset behind - but my camera packed up!

Saturday evening pleased to find over a thousand gulls on the shore at the burn, and soon spotted an adult Med, legs hidden - whilst moving to check it a lady in a BMW decided to set her dogs loose - a couple of scenthounds or lurchers which proceeded to chase every bird in sight right off the shore, pursuing them a distance into the shallows, over a distance of half a mile (including the assembled wildfowl, e.g. Wigeon and Goosanders). The dogs then ran wild over the grass and scared my daughter on her bike. So we moved down to the Prom playground where the local youngsters had been smashing glass. In front of my daughter (5 yrs) they (c. 10 yrs) conversed almost entirely in swear words, while I removed some of the glass. All typical for the neighbourhood, though at least they didn't throw things at us today. As the sun set the (48+) Sandwich Terns appeared very restless, often rising to circle, and a pipistrelle bat came out to hunt the shore.

Sunday update - just after 16:00hrs located a yellow-legged type gull on the Seton Burn, not large overall, but showing a blocky all-white head and bulky undercarriage, tapering rear, yellowish legs, mantle just darker than typical Common Gull, but crucially a narrow black band on what was apparently P5; in flight, outer primaries seen to be in moult with probably P6-P8 re-growing, together with an indentation at secondary junction. Photos (on new mobile) proved poor (see above - right central seated bird, and below - most distant bird showing contrast with Herring and LBB) but it turned out a fellow birder had got some better shots of the same bird at lunchtime, clearly showing the P5 band on at least the outer web. Possibly not enough for acceptance though, with no good photos of the spread wing, and the bird then flew off strongly inland over the caravan park at 18:00hrs (in a very similar manner to the previous individual here on 16 August). While watching this bird noticed a juv Med on the shore, then Cherry Blossom arrived, managed to read first digit on her ring to confirm not red-PJU6. Since (remarkably!) yet another new darvic (green-3LV5 - Belgian 2002 chick, seen previously in Cork in August 06) and an unringed adult had also been seen there earlier that made 4 Meds for the day, and at least 5 for the wknd, with a record hat-trick of darvics which will be hard to beat!

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