Gull watch is a daily feature at the Farm during the winter months. The weather has turned cold resulting in both the lakes freezing over. This provides a fantastic opportunity to read rings that are on some of the gulls. Tracking gull movements through rings is a relatively straight forward process with many groups having a website to look up the ring numbers. Frank collates all this information and contacts European based groups confirming the identity and timeline of sites the bird has been reported at.
There are approximately 10,000+ gulls daily on site and with the location of the landfill at present there are plenty of nearby options for gulls to wash up and rest. Having recorded a few rings with Frank on the North Lake we moved with Pete onto the tip. Whilst on the tip the Glaucous Gull was picked up in the corner of Pete’s eye and it was heading low towards the South Lake. Without wasting any time we all hot footed it over to the lake where the bird was found.
Another side to the freeze is the effect it has on the wildfowl with very little space on either lake for these birds to feed. Yesterday the female Pintail waddled along the frozen edge of the lake. It appeared bemused looking at the mass of gulls and the frozen water under its feet!