Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Herring Gull and crossbow

amazingly this Herring Gull had a crossbow bolt right through its head but it seemed to be relatively OK -- I assume it missed the actual skull but the bird is surely destined to meet its end soon -- what a strange culture we have as human beings

Interestingly Clare Gillatt has just sent me this link to an article from the Scarborough newspaper that may suggest this bird has come down the Yorkshire coast? How many Herring Gulls with crossbow bolts in their heads are there likely to be on the East coast

a few gull oddments

adult and 2cy Meds, Yellow-legged Gull, LBB and Herrings, - its a good time of year for gulls on my patch but also a good time for getting bitten to death by midges

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bonaparte's Gull and Ring-billed Gull on the patch

I was surprised that the Bonaparte's stayed around for three and a half hours but much more surprised to see it stood next to a 2cy Ring-billed Gull at one stage; both needless to say new birds for the patch and Bonaparte's a British find and Lincs tick to boot -- not a bad nights birding but due to the extreme distance the pics are less than records really
Looks like I have reached my Blogger 1GB limit at this crucial stage -- will upgrade but no more pics for 24 hours+

Monday, June 28, 2010

finding rare birds

people have in the past often asked me how you find rare birds: I have always put it down to 80% luck and 20% persistence but one key method is to concentrate on the birds that you have in numbers and try to locate the oddment amongst them -- in the last few days I have found up to 10 Mediterranean Gulls and 3-4 Yellow-legged Gulls amongst the 1000's of 2cy Common and Lesser Black-backs using the patch for bathing and roosting; I was seriously hoping for the first Caspian Gull of the year so have checked the gulls three times today; tonight the 80% luck played its part; most of the big gulls flew off as I sat down to scan leaving 5 Meds and lots of Commons plus a few LBBG and 4 Yellow-legs -- the 80% luck involved a small gull raising its head from its back just as I scoped by it to suggest a black and fine bill? a grey nape was the only other feature I could see as it sat facing me and stayed asleep for the next 25 minutes; in fact in the next three and a half hours it was asleep for 90% of the time so that chance sighting of its bill was more than fortuitous -- here is the view that I had for the first hour waiting for another look at the bill and eventually the legs -- not the ost obvious of rare birds from this view