Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Mediterranean Gull influx- The aftermath

As per the last week, large numbers of Med Gulls still remained around Upton Warren for the week after, in gradually decreasing amounts.
Firstly, we dropped into the Moors, where birdwise it was rather quiet, however, the small 'colony' of Bee Orchids remained in their usual plase. Also, there was a single Phyramidial Orchid.

Then we moved to the flashes, where it really didnt take long to find 3 MEDITERRANEAN GULL'S. 2 adults were around the first flash. Perching on posts with the BHG's.
However, a 2nd summer was showing much closer to the hide, however, somehow, the inside of my scope had fogged up (inside the eyepiece) and all my images came out 'foggy'. I had no idea what caused it. It has never happened before, and the scope was perfectly fine at the moors before.

2nd summer Meds must be one of the best ages, with that primary pattern!

The adults, also, are pritty aswome looking gulls, one of the best in britain in fact (Persoanlly). Tjose bright white primary's really stand out amongst the BHG around it.

Unfortunatly, the birds spent an awful lot of time asleap, so trying to get awake photos of them was quite difficult. But even with its bill tucked away, they are still incredibly distinctive birds, The actually black hood which is more extensive than BHG, those 'clown' eyelids, bright red legs, and in this bird, that alternating black/white pattern.

As the 2nd summer was almost always asleap (it is a teenager after all!), i exited the hide, and wlaked back along the path, so i would be closer to the adult Meds.

One bird was particularly fond of a certain post, and spent much of the nigh perched on it, chasing and fighting any BHG that came anywhere near. Always the bully!

Moving back to the hide, the 2nd summer Med Gull had decided to wake up for a short period, so i took a video.

Eventually, all 3 of the birds left, presumably to feed on flooded fields with the BHG flocks, and we were left a long period of time of 'nothing doing' in the hide before the roost built up.

First in, was the 2nd adult bird, which was moulting its head feathers around the base of the bill. I picked the bird up on call as it flew in before circling low in front of the hide, before pitching down on one of the close islands, affording great views!

Sadly however, it did fly back to its original area of the 1st flash, and remained there the remainder of the night, constantly posing on one of the posts in the water.
It had a little preen.....

And a little lookout.....

Before adopting this posture when calling or displaying to another bird......

And then returning to its original 'chilled out' stance.

Next in was the 2nd summer, who again landed on the close island, affording great views.

To liven things up abit, the 4th bird to fly in was a new one, as this 1st summer bird pitched down infront of the hide, before being chased into the water by its older 2nd year rival.

A much more subtle plumage than the others, but still very distinctive, the bill is huge and thick (compared to BHG) and is much redder. In flight the bird is very obvious though, with that great med gull pattern.

Lastly, we were joined by a 5th Med Gull, also a 1st summer, however, this bird was obviously different! A very dark individual, with obvious dark mask and much less worn primarys/tertials.

With the light now gone, i tried a last few attempts to photograph the birds.
The 2nd summer was still showing closest to the hide, so i concentrated on that.

Med Gull is one of my favorite birds, so to see a nice number is a real treat!

(Sorry about the videos in this post, i tried the constant focus setting on my camera, and thats whats making that horrible 'buzzing' sound, i am no longer going to use this feature)

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