Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Yellow-legged Gull at Shoreham (26 July)

Wednesday 26 July. I took Cookie down to Shoreham Harbour where a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was sitting on the very end of the West Arm with a few young Herring Gulls and a Great Black-back. It was my first of the summer and most welcome, although hardly surprsing with gull enthusiasts having seen juveniles recently at Eastbourne, Beachy, Newhaven and even Selsey. I tried some phone scoped photos most of which were dreadful but a few come out after a fashion. I had a bit more success digiscoping with a pocket camera and even better walking up and using my Bridge Camera although I didn't get the flight shots I had hoped for. Also seen were 2 Oystercatchers and 2 Sandwich Terns. We went on to Widewater where the Mute Swan family (2 adults and 4 full-sized cygnets) were on the lagoon. By now it was raining but it was low tide so we walked back along the exposed sand. Here the Yellow-legged Gull, or another very similar looking individual, was stabbing at a washed up eel. It flew off at our approach but settled further down the beach although photos were poor looking directly into the rain. A brief stop at the Adur produced no waders and 100+ mainly adult Herring Gulls. It was then time to visit the Post Office and the dentist ...
Yellow-legged Gull at Shoreham Harbour, one of my better (more fluky) attempts at phone scoping

shows the elongated rear, small head, darkish mask and mean-looking bill
nice white edges to mantle feathers, coverts and tertials
digiscoped image with juvenile Great Black-backed Gull for comparison
moving closer with the Bridge Camera, juvenile Herring Gull for comparison


Yellow-legged Gull at Widewater in the rain
if it wasn't the same bird it looked very similar
it appears less contrasting due to the film of water on my camera lens!
dead eel washed up on Widewater Beach. The Yellow-legged Gull was pecking at it but despite its heavy bill it wasn't making much of an impression
Tuesday 25 July. No sign of any Great Black-backed Gulls on the roofs but 2 adults and at least 2 youngsters were flying over Middle Road when I cycled off to work.

Monday 24 July. A pair of Mute Swans with three cygnets were by the lock-gates when I came home from work. The Great Black-backed Gull family appears to have left the roofs behind our house with none seen before or after work. Just one Swift over the garden although I only looked a couple of times.

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