Wednesday, July 22, 2015

No Seagulls Today

It’s 0930, raining steadily and I’m blogging when I should be out birding. Luckily I managed a few hours birding before the rains arrived while postponing a ringing session with Andy until the weekend. 

At Braides there was no Buzzard today but 3 Grey Herons instead, the herons lining the banks of the River Cocker where a couple of Meadow Pipits buzzed around. 

At Conder Green the resident Robin greeted me from the fence rail as I scanned the pool and creeks for other birds. A dozen and more Swifts hawked over the hedgerow with just a few Swallows and Sand Martins in evidence. The Sand Martins here are surely from the quarry a mile or two away where I called on the way back to witness a huge amount of activity at the nesting holes. 


Meanwhile back at Conder the Tufted Ducks now have 4 youngsters, an expected reduction from the 13 or 14 newly hatched chicks of a week ago. Singles of Little Grebe and Wigeon with 8+ Shelduck, 3 Grey Heron and 3 Little Egret. In the creeks good numbers of 60+ Redshank and 40+ Lapwing, 6 Common Sandpiper but one only of Dunlin. 

A Kestrel flew across the marsh towards the railway bridge where I found 4 Linnet, 4 Pied Wagtail, 2 Reed Bunting and a fly-over Common Tern. Glasson Dock had more Swifts and Swallows, a couple only of the former but 30+ Swallows so maybe a hint of a roost forming amongst the boats or reed fringes of the yacht basin in coming weeks. 

Along the towpath - 4 Pied Wagtails, 3 Reed Warbler, 2 Reed Bunting, 6 Tree Sparrow, a Blackcap in partial song and a Song Thrush in full voice. 

Song Thrush

Black-headed Gull

I see that “seagulls” are on the receiving end of some stick in the press and on the TV just recently, with even the Prime Minister taking the opportunity to have a go. Pity he has nothing more worldly urgent to worry about but also that his lackeys didn’t give him the advice that the UK is home to several species of gull, most of which cause no problem to voters; the urban bandit in question is not a “seagull” but the Herring Gull. 

I get quite irritated when people use the lazy, blanket term “seagull” to describe a particular species of gull when it is often quite obvious that they have not taken the time and trouble to find out that there are at least 55 species of gull in the world and all of them identifiable as being different to the next. 

Herring Gull

Yes, Herring Gulls can be a bit naughty but their sometimes unacceptable behaviour is mostly of our own making. Who can blame a gull for becoming accustomed to helping themselves when a smorgasbord of delights is laid out before them each day and night? The remains of Saturday night’s takeaways litter city, town and village streets while bin-bags lie unprotected and landfill sites are left uncovered. All of this makes for easier pickings than fishing the open seas as Herring Gulls did with huge success before the human race changed the rules of engagement. 

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Log in soon for more news and views from Another Bird Blog. But definitely no seagulls.

Linking today to Theresa's Ranch and Stewart's World Bird Wednesday .


David Gascoigne said...

I too despise the word seagull. I am not aware of your PM's comments but it seems that we always dislike wildlife that succeeds. As for them feeding on trash there are probably a few members of his party that would fit the bill quite nicely. After all the world of politics is where a lot of trash seems to congregate. Does Donald Trump mean anything to you???????

Mary Cromer said...

Changing the rules, yes man has quite a lot of nerve to say a word, when we are the ones, making all of the drastic changes, not all good either, that cause birds and other critters to misbehave in naughty ways. Around here, it is the Crows that just wait to see what we humans left on the ground for them to partake of. I am not at all good with some Gull ID's not Sparrow's nor many others, but I do enjoy them all. Sad so many youngsters get taken by predators. Sounds like you have our rain, first pleasant day we have had in a long while. Have a good one Phil~

eileeninmd said...

Great post, Phil! I love all the birds and images. It is sad to hear the numbers of the tufted duck chicks was reduced. I have forced myself not to say seagull any more. But, I will admit I have a hard time id-ing the gulls. I love the cute robin shot! Happy Birding, I hope the rain has stopped.

Phil Slade said...

Yes David. The Vile Trump is known to us on this side of the Atlantic and not just from his obnoxious statements made in the last few days as shown on our TV screens. He has form for trying to destroy a particularly beautiful and valuable part of Scotland. North America is more than welcome to keep such loathsome ugly creatures to itself. Please do not send him or his over here.

Linda said...

Your photos are lovely, Phil!

Mama Zen said...

Love that shot of the robin!

Adam Jones said...

Nice Seagulls Phil. ;-) On a serious note though, I agree with you. Our way of life has changed the gulls way of life and it has become lazy, and who can blame it? We shouldn't. The Herring Gull is a real beast of a bird while the Lesser Black-backed is among my favourite gulls. It has a sort of majesty about it and your shot emphasises that to me.

TexWisGirl said...

another set of cute fence sitters. :)

Ida said...

What a fuzzy little robin and who knew there were so many different variaties of gulls.

Margaret Adamson said...

I am sad to hear about the Tufted ducklings however I suppose that is nature working. Your gull images are wonderful.

Chris Rohrer said...

Excellent photos! I've been out of the country for awhile and am just catching up. Sad about the Ducklings. As for "seagulls". Yes, it drives me nuts as well. I grew up on Lake Michigan. There are plenty of gulls there but no sea:) Our home is situated near large Herring Gull sites. From what I understand, the Herring Gull isn't doing as well over there? Gulls are amazing creatures and I try to explain that to people who think they are trash birds. And then I explain, the keep our beaches clean. And because people like it when animals or birds go wild, I have them watch the gulls on the beach while tourists are in town. Because our Herring Gulls love to steal items from people. And who doesn't love watching that all go down. Free entertainment for the locals:)

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