Posts Tagged ‘Mediterranean Gull’

It was good to be able to get back to visiting familiar haunts. It is probably a year since Keith and I walked the riverfront at Gravesend, so it was great to be able to visit on Thursday.

The normal wader population that we would see in the winter had gone to the breeding grounds but the highlight of the day was 7 Mediterranean Gulls in full plumage. Also 2 Blackcaps singing in the riverside park.

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Another very pleasant day and a chance to do some birdwatching from the water during a trip Keith and I made with Skipper Ray Wade out to the saltmarsh islands in the River Medway. Our morning trip took us out past Burntwick marsh and we got a look at the Gull colonies, where there seemed to be a lrger number than usual of Mediterranean Gulls. There were also large numbers of Brent Geese and Black-tailed Godwits on the mud-flats, either already on migration or just about to leave.

Mediterranean Gulls

Mediterranean Gulls

Black-tailed Godwits

Black-tailed Godwits

 

Brent Geese

Brent Geese

 

We dropped anchor off Greenborough marsh for lunch and were immediately busy as there seemed to be birds everywhere. Along with the numerous Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards, a passing hawk was identified as a migrating Honey Buzzard and shortly afterwards a Hen Harrier was seen over one of the islands. Rather than moving on it was decided to just sit where we were and see what went past. During the coarse of the afternoon we also saw an Osprey and 3 Honey Buzzards plus numerous Common Buzzards and Marsh Harriers.

Common Buzzard

Common Buzzard

On the way back to dock at the end of the afternoon we found 3 Peregrines and a Shag around the remains of the old oil jetties.

Shag

Shag

 

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

We also saw a number of Common Seals and one Grey Seal

Common Seal

Common Seal

 

Red-legged Partridge [sp] (Alectoris rufa)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
European Shag [sp] (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Osprey [sp] (Pandion haliaetus)
European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus cyaneus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Northern Raven [sp] (Corvus corax)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)

Common Seal

Grey Seal

 

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Apart from the strong winds it was great to be able to get out of the office and spend a day with Keith walking the River Medway near Gillingham. The tide was well out, which meant that many birds were far out on the mud-flats. We began our walk at Eastcourt meadows in the hope of a Woodcock, but given the mild nature of our weather so far it was not surprising that we did not locate one of these winter visitors, Making our way to the estuary we headed towards Copperhouse creek. In the pools and channels in the mudflats were groups of Wigeon and Teal. 3 drake Pintail briefly made an appearance before disappearing out of sight. Further out on the mud were large groups of Shelduck

Teal and Wigeon

Teal and Wigeon

 

Shelduck

Shelduck

On one of the pools a few gulls were present and we were delighted to find a Mediterranean Gull amongst the Black-headed Gulls. Once a scarce visitor to these shores, it is now an established breeder,

Mediterranean Gull

Mediterranean Gull

 

Tracing our way back east past we made our way towards Horrid Hill, a piece of land which sticks out into the river. In a channel we found a Greenshank.

Greenshank

Greenshank

 

Ringed plover scurried about on the mud and we found a second Mediterranean Gull  this time even closer.

Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover

 

Another Mediterranean Gull

Another Mediterranean Gull

Off the wharf near Motney Hill, we found another large group of Teal and Wigeon.

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Wigeon

Wigeon

We finished our day at the reed bed alongside the Motney Hill road. Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush and a single Redwing were all seen, whilst we could hear singing Song Thrush. A Water Rail called and a silent Sparrowhawk glided through the reed tops looking for one last meal before dark.

All in all a good day and we both agreed that those Mediterranean Gulls were the highlight of the day

Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Grey Plover [sp] (Pluvialis squatarola)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)