|Today's Black-headed Gulls|
On arrival at the Marina today, it was dry with about 75% cloud cover, a very weak sun and although the temperature was reading 11°C, the fairly strong westerly breeze coming in off the Lough, made it feel very chilly.
In the region of 70 BHGs were present, along with 1 adult Lesser-Black-backed Gull and no Common Gulls. Due to the strength of the wind, most of the BHGs were standing on the ground facing into the wind with very few perched on the railings.
Having arrived at 09.05, by 09.16, I had recorded 11 gulls with Darvic rings, which was a very good start. The numbers of BHGs slowly built up the closer to lunchtime it got. For a second week in a row the gulls were really looking for food and it was really noticeable with the juvenile/1st winter birds, as they were so hungry, many seemed to lose their fear of people and approach very closely.
As it was so chilly today, the Marina had far less people visiting it, but the gulls seem to know that the nearer to lunchtime it gets, the more chance of food. By the time I left at 1pm, around 150 to 180 BHGs were now present. I recorded 19 Darvic rung birds with the last one being noted at 12.40.
No new birds to report today, so the overall total of Darvic rung birds, still stands at 22. 2AAK is still absent, with only the one sighting since the beginning of my winter visits. Last weeks two new arrivals were both present again today.
Another BHG making an appearance today was 'One Leg', which I last saw on the 24th August. I wrote about her antic's at the car. She let me know, she was back, as at 9.35 this morning, there she was hovering at the car window. I reached into the lunchbox and offered her pasta which she took, flew over the river and the dropped it into the water. She then flew back for another bit and again dropped it into the water. Back she came to the car widow and this time would not take the pasta, but kept hovering. I then offered her a chip and she took it and did her usual circuit of the river, eating it on her way round for another chip. All the other gulls were very happy with the pasta, but not this one - we have a fussy eater.
Black-headed Gulls Present Today
Black-headed Gulls Absent Today
The adult Lesser Black-backed Gull mentioned above, quickly departed from the Marina soon after I arrived. Though no Common Gulls were present at first, two arrived at 11.27 and constantly harried the BHGs, often forcing them to drop any bread that they had gathered. One of the two gulls was the Scottish bird EY64036 which first appeared two week's ago. With these two standing side by side, I'm thinking that EY64036 is a female, as it looks smaller and daintier, maybe these two have paired up?
Mallard numbers were again on the low side, with around 40 to 50 present and practically no change in numbers, by the time I left at 1pm. There was no sign of the Monaghan Mallard and now I'm beginning to think that it has left the Marina area completely.
4 Mute Swans were present on arrival, gradually increasing to twelve, as the morning passed by. These included the two with the cygnet, which came from up-river. Of the swans, that came out of the water, only one was ringed - Z91982 . Caroline McManus's contract as Warden ended last Sunday, so I'm still in the dark, about the whereabouts of the wee swan Z91984 .
Except for the usual Hooded Crows, Jackdaws, Magpies and a single Rook, no other bird species graced the Marina today. Perhaps the windy conditions played a part in this.