Saturday, 5 March 2011

Mediterranean Gull.

Mediterranean Gull. Pete Woodruff.

In breeding plumage the Mediterranean Gull (MG) is undoubtedly the most striking of all the larus species, it was very rare in GB prior to the 1950's, now widespread especially on the SE coast of England  - where three figure flocks are now recorded regularly at Folkestone in Kent - since the steady increase in the NW European population since the late 1960's the MG is now a familiar sight to many birders including birds seen regularly in our area in Lancashire. The first documented breeding attempt in Britain occurred in 1968 and was followed by regular breeding from 1976 with the habit of nesting with large numbers of Black-headed Gulls. The first record of MG in Ireland was made in 1956, the first in Lancashire was of a bird at Formby which stayed for seven months from April until November in 1968, with another bird at St Annes in August of the same year.

The results from colour-ringing appears to indicate that most of the Hungarian population winter along the Atlantic coast including Britain, the origins of MG's in Britain also include Netherlands, Germany, and the former Yugoslavia which brings me to the following note....

I found an adult MG about 1/4 mile NE of the esplanade at Knott End on Preesall Sands this week on Tuesday 1 March. The bird was squat on the sands for the entire time I spent with it save just one moment when it stood to reveal a colour ring before squatting again. I alerted an appropriate Fylde birder to the bird but attempts to see and read the ring were unsuccessful and we will now have to wait to see if the bird can be relocated. However, the colour of the ring already indicates that this bird was marked at one of four locations in Poland, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, or Hungary....So we wait!

The photograph above has been featured on Birds2blog on a previous occasion, but  - although I say this myself - it ain't bad is it, and by the way isn't an adult bird.   

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