Wednesday 28 June 2023

Mainly Meds again, but one with distinction!

 A light but gusty SW wind. Overcast with showers, some heavy.

South shore (MD)
I walked down the sea wall on the ebbing tide this morning.
Mediterranean gulls 11 at least. There were 3 adults 2 first summer and a second summer on the beach between the two outflows - these included two white darvic ringed adults, one of which was just close enough to read. An adult and 4 first summer feeding on the end of No.1 outflow. And two adults came to the beach near the wooden jetty when it became exposed, possibly ones already seen.
It was mainly Herring gulls that arrived to feed at the wooden jetty beach, plus the metal ringed adult with a bad leg (later joined by an unringed adult).
They were all catching sandmason worms, and quite easily. In this clip, a Lesser Black-Backed first then the Med

First summer Mediterranean gull resting on No.2 outflow railings

One of the adults with a white darvic ring

This is the history of yesterday's green ringed first summer Mediterranean gull. Pete advises that it was ringed as a nestling about half way down the French Atlantic coastline, further south and west than any previous source of nestlings subsequently seen in Lancs 

Eider 3 female out
Curlew 72 flew north in small groups
Rock Pipit just one seen on the roundhead wall, no sign of any taking food to nest

I returned to watch the tide cover the beach next to the wooden jetty, it was full of both gulls and sandmason worm tubes! 
Herring Gulls 30
Lesser Black-Backed gulls 5
Common gull 4
Mediterranean gull 10 - 6 adult, 2 first summer and 2 second summer. None were colour ringed. 
The mud is still deep and soft, but I have never seen so many tubes poking through the mud over such a large area. Presumably the worms have benefited from a couple of years of relatively low predation by the small gulls. It looks like that is about to change now that the large gulls are deeming them a worthwhile meal. This clip is just to show the density of the sandmason worms.

Although, the mud will still be softer than normal, the sheer density of the sandmason worm tubes within it will make it effectively firmer. It could be going to be good for the Meds later in the summer, as long as the large gulls don't take too many.

On the way back, once again there were gulls scattered all over the shore, there was at least one additional white ringed Mediterranean gull, so there are at least two ringed birds yet to be read. Hopefully they will hang around.
Nice to see (and hear) a Redshank zipping through

Watch this egret, I think it's just a Little Egret with muddy feet (MD).
Just a bit of fun, it obviously landed in a drain channel. But there is a serious message too, the beach ahead looks flat, but is crisscrossed with natural and constantly shifting drains, you need to be on the right side of them when the tide is coming in, and you can't trust your eyes to be sure that you are safe.

Janet took these nice shots of a Ringlet with a rain drop on its antennae.

A wringing Ringlet!