Long Time No See

In the style of the late Ronnie Corbett I’ve already started disgressing with this blog, as it isn’t actually about the Black-headed Gull above. Let me explain.

When I saw the above bird from South Lanarkshire in Dalton-in-Furness last October I asked Iain (the ringer) if he had heard any more about 2BC1. Like the above bird this was ringed at Elvanfoot in 2017. I saw it at Little Singleton that year. Iain had heard no more of it but promised to let me know if he did.

You probably know where this is going. Last Sunday I was only able to nip out briefly as Jane had hurt her foot (confirmed on Monday as a fracture). I went to Little Singleton more in hope than expectation but there was a good assembly of Black-headed and Common Gulls. They were beginning to leave as the tide rose, but I picked out a red ringed Black-head. I was expecting it to be a new bird, but it turned out to be 2BC1 over five years on. The picture below isn’t the best and it left soon after, which is why I’ve led the post with 2AX1.

It’s easy to assume someone will have reported any ringed bird you see already, but as this case shows even with colour ringed individuals that isn’t always so.

On the theme of ‘not seen for a while’ Little Singleton is a favoured haunt of a few Goldeneye each winter, but I hadn’t seen any in late 2022. They’ve made a belated appearance this week with five individuals. As you can see below this includes three adult males, a young male (bottom left) and a female.

What you can also just about see in the above picture is the high ‘sex drive’ of drake Goldeneyes. There was all incessant displaying to the lone lady, the bird far right is trying to impress when this picture was taken, throwing his head up and down and calling.

Goldeneye seem to expend more energy on this kind of behaviour in winter than just about any other species of duck. It’s quite the sight to see. If you’re local to Blackpool other places you might see this performance on the Fylde before they leave to breed include Marton Mere and Glasson Dock.

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