Sunday, 17 May 2009

Just a minutus

Undoubted highlight from the parish today was the 1stw/1sts little gull associating with black-headed gulls in the ploughed fields, and later on the river.
I must admit I had a bit of a fright when I first saw it at distance, as it alighted on the dark ground and appeared to have a distinctly diamond shaped tail! I decided to get a better look at it as I was without my 'scope and crept along the hedge bordering the field. On the deck it looked like a little gull alright and then it flew toward me allowing me to note a pinkish blush to its underparts and the reason why its tail looked an odd shape. It had moulted out the central feathers of the juv tail band and thus showed pristine white central tail feathers - hence the appearance at distance of a diamond shape. Can't say I've noticed that before - every day's a school day etc!

Since initially posting this I've done a bit of reading and the tail pattern is consistent with 1st summer plumage, although this bird's head was still very much in 1stw, therefore it is in transitional moult between the two. I must have seen plenty of little gulls of this age before, I just don't remember seeing that tail!

Otherwise it was all pretty quiet, with the exception of a little egret which was on the marsh (the first I've seen here almost 2 weeks) and a big peregrine scaring all the gulls.
Little ringed plover pair at Freeman's Pools plus the regular stuff.

Little Gull still present this morning, moving from ploughed field to river. stevew
.. and still at 5.20pm Jon

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