Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Med to the rescue!

I went to Beddington Farm early this morning in search of five species of gulls.. Mediterranean, Yellow legged, Caspian, Glaucous and maybe an Iceland!

The Farm has in the region of fifteen thousand gulls that visit the landfill site daily during the winter months. The birds feed on the scraps we discard then wash up on the lakes and loaf on the hills that have also been created by a mixture of refuse and earth. The sight of a carpet of white can appear quite daunting at first but if the gulls are facing side on then carefull scanning can pay off with a white winged gull.

The Farm became famous for the visit of the UK's first Glaucous-winged gull which was found and ringed in Gloucestershire. A submitted second record two years later has provoked much debate and is still in circulation.

This morning the lakes were partially frozen and the gulls would not settle due to a flying gull which had got tape from the landfill wrapped around its legs creating "streamer bird!". This spooks the gulls sending them all skyward only to settle and have the streamer bird return and the process is repeated.

The gulls eventually settled on the North lake and the scanning began Frank saved my short visit by declaring he had found a Mediterranean gull. At least I wasn't going to leave empty handed!

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