The Meadow is taking on more of its winter mantle as each day progresses. Thanks to the continuing rainy weather the floods are increasing in size though they are still some way off their ideal size. The usual birds are about in increasing numbers and finally we're starting to get a proper gull roost again. There have even been some waders to report over the last week with Steve Lavington finding a REDSHANK over the weekend and today there was a single winter-plumage DUNLIN in amongst the Golden Plover, the latter numbering about 500 birds today. There now are several hundred Wigeon and Teal as well as a decent smattering of Shoveler.
Today in the gull roost I managed to find about 120 large gulls, mostly Lesser Black-backed though with a few Herring Gulls and the first YELLOW-LEGGED GULL of the season in the form of a distinctive adult with a deformed upper bill.
You can't really tell from this rather poor grab of the Yellow-legged Gull
but the upper bill is overly long giving it a sort of hooked appearance
This distinctive 1w Lesser Black-backed Gull with unusual thick white tips to the tertials has been present for the last couple of nights in the roost. The length of its primary projection lead me to wonder whether it might be a candidate "Baltic Gull" (l. f. fuscus) but according to Ian Lewington they're almost impossible to ID in the field at this age unless they happen to be ringed.
I heard the Medley Farm NUTHATCH piping away this week as well - it's nice to know that it's still around.