I intend to spend a good deal of time with waders over this winter. The numbers of birds are starting to build locally, although it is still a bit early for the huge flocks of Knot to arrive from the north. Winter is such a great time for photography, if the weather is kind, and I can start to feel its arrival as the days grow shorter. The first photograph is one of the early Knot arrivals still showing remnants of its summer red plumage.
The Dunlin numbers are improving but the birds also are still not in their full winter 'outfit'.I now have to tell the story of a gull. While out the other day with my friend, I spotted a Mediterranean Gull go overhead. I was quite surprised to have been able to actually spot it amongst the hordes of similar looking Black-headed gulls. The bird had a large green ring on its leg with the code clearly visible in the photographs.
This is the first time I have managed to get some flight photos of one these birds and it was good to share the moment with my friend Steve. On getting home Steve realised it was the same bird he had photographed in the same spot two years earlier. The chances of that must be very slim.
There is no denying they are a very beautiful gull. I would like to thank Richard Smith at Dee Estuary Website for finding some information out about the bird travels based on the ring information. It was ringed in Belgium in 2002, was subsequently reported in the Netherlands in 2004 and 2006 and then arrived up in Liverpool in 2006. It hung around until early 2007 before taking a trip back to Holland and then arriving back here now in 2008. It seldom you appreciate what wanders some sea gulls are!