Saturday, 3 March 2012

More Spring Movement

3rd March - I received a call this morning from regular Alan S saying that he had a flighty Curlew on the spit, which had already flown off north but returned.  I was unable to visit until late afternoon and was not optimistic that it would still be there.  So I was pleasantly surprised that when I arrived at 4:30pm, the Curlew was busy preening in the south bay of the spit.  I moved to the viewpoint to take a record shot and some 5 minutes later the bird made several alarm calls, took off and flew north and didn't return, so fortuitous timing.  A fox was roaming the spit scattering the large congregation of gulls, so this may have caused the Curlew to move on.  It looked relatively short billed, so was probably a male and it also had a fairly distinct pale central crown stripe.

distinct pale crown stripe
The gull roost numbered some thousands of birds this evening, with huge numbers of Common Gulls.  I don't like to try and count these, as it seems too difficult, but there must have been around 3,000 Commons this evening.  The number of LWHG is now much reduced, but Jim R managed to find a red darvic ringed adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, code KB3T in front of the island.  This will probably be a North Thames Gull Group bird, as it fits their coding and I have sent off for information.  Jim also located an adult Med Gull at about 5:45pm, which soon lost itself amongst the Common Gulls.  It had quite an extensive black hood, but still had a whitish forehead and various other white spots.  To me it appeared significantly more advanced than the adult last Saturday, but they can change quite rapidly.

As I was leaving, a Tawny Owl called from the field next to the car park and was nicely silhouetted in a tree before flying off to hunt.


  1. Alan kindly tipped me off about the Curlew as he drove off around 10:30 am - but I couldn't find it!

    Ed Griffiths

    1. It sounds like it was a mobile bird, disappearing north and then returning. I was certainly surprised that it was still there in the afternoon.