Wednesday, 29 February 2012

beach bird survey

A good day out today heading west in search of dead birds. Stuck at traffic lights between Aberdesach and Pontllyfni an Iceland Gull drifted over in a mixed gull flock heading towards Llyfni estuary. No idea of its age and no time to chase after it.
A quick stop at Morfa Nefyn had the Surfie east of where it's usually been, just out from the main beach entrance - perhaps because the tide was out. Still obvioulsy intent on eating every last crab in the bay.
Traeth Penllech next and a plenty of gulls but nothing of note (to my eye). No dead birds either
: ( North end of Porth Neigwl next where Andrew acted sherpa leading me down to the beach. Our combined skills proved invaluable as we jointly found a dead swan - HOORA... sorry Oh no , it's dead : (
Actually, may have been a large farm goose - too far gone for us to work out. but it's going down on the record card as a swan sp.
Checking the southern end of the beach I found some more dead birds : ) HO... sorry, ahem, a collection feathers loosely attached to tiny bit of bone that may once have been an auk, maybe a Great one judging fron the advanced decomposition. Next, a pristine guillemot minus its breast fillets - I suspect a peregine kill. Finally a cat's-cradle of seaweed and bone framed by two black- headed gull primaries - Result : )
Way down the south end I was chuffed to find a (locally ) huge gull flock of 500+ gulls bobbing beyond the surf. An Iceland gull stood out obvioulsy and after confidently reporting it as 2nd winter I now suspect it was an advanced 1st winter bird. Further scanning produced two cracking adult Meds and a first winter. I managed some bad digiscoping but too poor even by my standards to post.
A final stop at Abersoch produced another near adult summer-ish Med - Hyfryd.

As Samuel Johnson once said to James Boswell;
"when a man is tired of Med Gulls, he is tired of life."

1 comment:

  1. Who needs a "life list" when you've got dead ones to count, albeit even more challenging at times (like when the head is missing).

    Had a quick look for the Iceland et al late afternoon but only small numbers of common larids present.