Thursday, 16 August 2007

Black Guillemots still absent

Heysham Observatory
North harbour wall
Two adult (one Czech-ringed with 5 old primaries) and 2 2nd winter Med Gulls. Note the second winters are in the final stages of moult with the outer primaries in stage 3/4, giving the birds a very blunt-ended appearance c/p adults at rest.

Meds. can be awkward at this time of year. If there is any doubt as to the stage of wing moult in resting 'adult-like' birds with 'black wing-tips' i.e. whether the black-tipped outer primaries are old unmoulted feathers = 2nd S moulting to 3rd=ad winter or as described above = 1st summer moulting to 2nd W, the bare parts can be quite helpful. The legs on 2nd W/2nd S birds are dark reddish brown and this can sometimes remain as an obvious feature as late as the 3rd W = otherwise adult plumage, allowing 3rd W to be identified (and the feature checked on ringed known 3rd W). 2nd W birds also have quite 'washed-out' orangy-red bills but these are usually indistinguishable from adults once 2nd summer plumage is attained.

Outfalls/Red Nab/Ocean Edge
Very unproductive with just one Sandwich Tern and a high class of holidaymaker this week snaffling all the Daily Mirror from the caravan park shop. Surely the Ad Little Gull was not a one-day bird?

Quite a few Med Gull in coastal areas on and south of the Lune Estuary as wet fields disperse birds which are 'usually' on Heysham outfalls (numbers there well down)? 3 Spoonbill and 'a lot' of Little Egret EM Pools.