Monday 28 August 2017

Little bit of birding

Our recent family holiday to Yorkshire wasn't really a birding trip but I did manage a few excursions with the bins and camera. My eldest son surprised me by showing an interest in going to see the Hornsea Mere Little Gull roost at which over 8,000 birds had been reported on some evenings, so we headed there as dusk approached. Unfortunately on our chosen night, the Little Gulls chose to go somewhere else - just 200 or so were present but that's still the largest flock of Little Gull I have ever seen. A very friendly and knowledgeable local birder explained that it wasn't actually a roost but a feeding frenzy with the Little Gull taking advantage of millions of flying insects which emerge over the Mere.

He also suggested that it might be worth visiting the Mere in the morning as Little Gulls hang out on the jetties near the sailing club, giving much closer views than we were getting in the evening. I followed his advice and enjoyed excellent views of a flock of 25 in a variety of plumages. Unfortunately the light was unkind - I really needed to be out on the end of a jetty parallel to the one being used as a roost by the gulls. I asked a sailing club official if it would be OK to wander out there and he said it was fine as long as I wore a life-jacket. That seemed like a fair deal to get even better views and photos!

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