7 January 2014

Storm tossed waif

Paddled about this morning, if this continues I might have to get a canoe. Met up with Bob at Jubilee, with not much to report we went our separate ways, him to look for Great Black-backed Gulls and me for Kestrel, well anything really, in the SSSI.

A large-ish flock of Redpoll cavorted between the birch stands, steadfastly refusing to stay put long enough to count let alone check for big, grey uns. And that was the high point as I sloshed my way across Centre Road and met up with Bob again, who likewise had had no joy, by Long Wood. He, sensibly, was giving up, while I for want anything better to do was going to look for Med Gull in the scattered carpet of gulls west of Alex.

I made it half way scanning the first large group and stopped immediately: C-gull, BH Gull, C-gull, C-gull, Kitti.... wahT! there was a black-headed gull with a banana for a bill. Wait a minute they don't have bananas for...


Phoned Bob, who missed the last one after sprinting the length of the pitches: "You might want to come back out, this might be of interest... "

Apparently it was. I kept my distance until he arrived. Not quickly enough to my mind, as I was rapidly approaching saturation point, the only idiot left on the flats in the teeth of the driving rain.

The bird hardly moved, just flapping forward a bit when bumped into by a crow, barely offering a defence to some bullying Common Gull. Not a good prognosis. Finally, when Bob arrived, we edged forward, and a bit more. This bird was not for moving. It looked perky enough, not moribund, just very knackered. I went off to search for Meds, while Bob tried to see what colour its legs were.

I gave up looking for meds as the gulls had redistributed themselves all over the place, and was about to leave when Stuart turned up. Apparently a London tick for Mr Fisher. We approached again and finally it had enough of lenses and congratulatory behaviour, it glided a dozen metres or so and resumed its belly resting.

We had thought about trying to take it in to care, but, with this little flight, we ditched the idea. I just hope the sunshine gave it the energy to move on and it wasn't the owner of the feathers Dan found later.

What an absolutely beautiful bird and one I don't think I will ever get as close to again, unless its being rung.

... and no time consuming cropping!

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