Saturday, 3 July 2010

More gulls on the river

Time for a couple of hours' gulling this morning on the Thames at Rainham, where numbers are building up nicely. The tip makes all the difference as a focal point for feeding, and today there were probably 2,000-3,000 birds between the two locations. Among them were at least 25 Yellow-legged Gulls, my highest count of the year so far.

Herring, Yellow-legged and Lesser Black-backed Gulls of various ages drifting downstream on the ebbing tide.

The first good bird of the day was a second-summer Mediterranean Gull in amongst the fray of birds on the tip. An hour and a half later I found this individual, either the same bird or a second one, on the foreshore. Note in the shot below how much more extensive the black is on the spread outer primaries than appears to be the case when perched, and also the extent of primary moult (P1 and P2 are regrowing and it has just dropped P3). This is surely the most attractive Med plumage.

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