Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mediterranean Gulls

Following on from yesterday's post regarding the increasing numbers of Little Egrets, another bird with an expanding range and numbers is the Mediterranean Gull, or 'Med Gull' as birders refer to it. In appearance the adult has been aptly described as being like a Black-headed Gull with a Barn Owl's wings! They really are beautiful birds and it's reckoned that our birds probably breed in Central Europe. I first saw them in Southend some years ago, and the Southend RSPB group have a short, but interesting, overview here.

We have a very healthy winter population here in the West Wight, with 230 birds being noted in one place during a recent count. What I love about these birds at this time of year is their fascinating nasal 'yeah' call, as one person describes it, which they make whilst on the water or in flight.

The video sequence below consists of a number of birds repeatedly calling whilst circling over the Western Yar Estuary a few days ago. You won't see a lot, but you'll understand what I mean about the call!

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