Some More Patch Stuff – 25/ix/14

I headed down for a quick visit to Blackpill this evening to count the gulls present and hopefully pick out something good. In contrast to my last visit the weather was poor, with constant drizzle and a cold south westerly wind.

When I arrived, things quickly started to pick up, when a juvenile Peregrine flew north above the shoreline. I set up the scope and began to scan, and quickly picked up a distant seaduck! Careful observation showed it to be a female Eider, another new species on the patch for me! That makes three patch ticks in two visits. The bird did eventually drift a little closer, and even had a quick wing flap at one point.

Continuing to scan the bay, I managed to see another pair of Sandwich Terns (though they were very distant) and an even more distant grebe. Unfortunately, it was so distant that it could not be assigned to a species, but it was probably a Great-Crested.

Scanning through the Oystercatchers gathered on the beach, I picked out three Curlew, but nothing of any interest was present here.

Moving onto the gulls, I immediately noticed some more Sandwich Terns resting on the beach. There were six birds in total, five of them were adults and one was a juvenile. They took flight on several occasions and I managed some very, very, poor record shots in the low light:

P1230455 Ced

Totals for the gull count were as follows; 50 Mediterranean Gull (34 adults, 3 2nd-winters and 13 juveniles), 2 Great Black-Backed Gull (1 adult and 1 juvenile), 7 Lesser Black-Backed Gull, 6 Common Gull, 69 Herring Gull and 79 Black-Headed Gull. All counts were down, except for the large increase in numbers of Mediterranean Gulls.

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