Black-headed Gulls

Saturday, 21st December 2013

I must have spent at least three hours at various sites sat in my vehicle today, in the rain, watching gulls. Unfortunately the milder weather overnight seemed to have pushed off the majority, so that the first day for quite a while that I was able to get out for very long was spent studying the commoner species.

Checking out the Black-headeds at Radipole produced the bird pictured below that's interesting for two reasons. Firstly it retains / has developed quite a hood. Two out of a hundred and fifty or so today showed this feature with this bird's being the most prominent. The bird also shows the pinkish tinge to the belly plumage we see now and again at this time of year. I agree it's not that obvious in the photo - never mind! A couple of other birds in the flock were similarly 'pigmented'.

Other than the dark heads and the pink pigments two other birds of the species had metal rings. Just in case anyone is remotely interested in partly readable rings, here they are. I will try and pick these birds up again of course.

So, when I return tomorrow it will be interesting to see which birds are present:

2 with black heads
1 winter head with pink flush
2 winter heads with metal rings G? 173 *  left leg,  E T T? * right leg
2 winter head with pink flush
1 bird with only one leg  (forgot to note which one!)

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