Today I had a couple of goes at grilling gulls, at the Waste Transfer Station at lunchtime and on the Wyre Estuary at Skippool this evening. I guess hanging round an active waste disposal site is an acquired taste, but hopefully the above picture shows it was nice on the riverbank.
I keep hoping to pick something out of the ordinary out of the throng at the transfer station, but whilst there were a lot of birds lingering and foraging today they all looked like Herring or Lesser Black-backed Gulls to me. The absence of any ringed birds from further afield would suggest that they are generally locals as you might expect, but I will plug away for a few more weeks in the hope of something exotic.
There was a ringed bird at the transfer station during last week from the locaI scheme I couldn’t quite clinch. I saw it again at the weekend and as the poor photograph below confirms it was N:05R.
The life history of this bird was again promptly supplied and follows below:
So presumably it has stayed fairly local all winter. I am not sure if I mentioned the one that had been in reported Cornwall, but Chris Batty expressed a view that had crossed my mind that this was a misread Lesser Black-backed Gull from the same scheme. They routinely winter further south whilst the Herring Gulls stay put.
At Skippool there were a handful of Great Black-backed Gulls but the highlight was the 39 Black-headed Gulls that had appeared by dusk. This might sound counter-intuitive, but Black-headed Gulls are actually pretty scarce on the Fylde coastline at this time of year as the vast majority have moved off to breed. In this regard it’s worth checking out the tweets of Kane Brides and Scott Petrak, as the birds they have ringed over the winter begin to get reported abroad. I’ve borrowed this graphic from Kane’s page showing some of the initial recoveries of the spring.