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What every gull wants.

Posted by on December 9, 2012 8:51 PM | 

mactra.jpg

As Phil Smith said yesterday, the big wreck of Rayed Trough Shells on Ainsdale beach is really drawing in the gulls.
About 5,000 birds there early morning today fighting with Carrion Crows and Jackdaws to get the best pickings, but more birds in the early afternoon, with the low tide area white with 'em up towards Weld Road.
If someone had the time to go through them, there's bound to be something to be found - and I'm not talking about empty Mactra shells.
Sadly, I wasn't the one with the time today, as I was working.

gulls912.jpg

I did notice several BHGs moulting almost into full summer plumage, so that'll be the end of winter any day now then.
Big increase in Common Gulls too, as you'd expect at this time of year, with a pleasing variety of phases and plumages, from ashy grey-headed birds to slaty-backed to pearly grey.
Good value.
Always liked the way Common Gulls perch on overhead lines in Scandinavia, I wish they'd do that here.
My "Big Boys' Book of Shells" tells me the Rayed Trough Shell is a relative of the Clam, and can be consumed by humans (but only by the very brave and stupid along our coast).
"A shell bivalve, equilateral or just inequilateral. Ligament external, thin, and ........zzzzzz"
Sorry, these molluscs id guys ain't quite mastered the flow of the English language yet - hardly surprising given the things they spend their time poking.
Gulls love 'em anyway (the shells, not the mollusc books), and that's all you need to know really - who fancies a white-wing or two?
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...

10 Comments

8 Waxwing north over Birkdale dunes at 1200 today.

At least one Waxwing, early afternoon today on Loxley Road, Kew.
Also earlier in Birkdale 2-3 Blackcap in traditional wintering ground around Birkdale Common/edge of Royal Birkdale feeding on buckthorn, plus a couple of Redwing, Fieldfare, 3 Song Thrush, Blackbirds, finches, tits etc.

1 Waxwing on hedgerow at Thornton this morning.

8 Waxwing flying south over Birkdale dunes at 12.20pm today.

Peregrine Falcon at New Brighton putting the fear into everything on the beach today, also all the birds that have been in the garden on a daily basis haven't been seen for nearly a week now despite there being lots of food out - any ideas?
JD: Surprised your garden visitors are missing Paul, cold snap has really bumped up the numbers at Dempsey Towers.
Cat hassle mebbe?

Thanks John have had a few visits from a Sparrowhawk lately probably that .

Hi John, it was nice to see a Chiffchaff in my Walton garden today. Meanwhile Paul's 'problem' could be a similar one to mine, namely 'sentinel' Sparrowhawk(s) that sit in deep cover at the end of the garden so no birds dare to fly, I've seen them zoom in at dusk maybe roosting there hoping for a meal next day without having to travel far! And if they do catch something the garden remains deserted all day.

A big Fieldfare has bagsied a corner of our garden this afternoon. Not as brightly marked as the two I saw few days ago and a lot braver around the sulking Blackbirds!

Birded Hesketh Out Marsh with Andy Bate today 13/12. Between us we saw Barn Owl, 326 Whooper Swans, 9 Bewick's Swans, 3000+ Pinks, m&f Hen Harrier, 3 Peregrine, 2 Merlin, 400 Golden Plover, Fieldfares, Redwings, etc, etc.

Hi, 3 Waxwings around Crosby village at lunchtime today. Feeding in a Rowan outside the Post Office and also in a Hawthorn outside the Crossroads centre, adjacent to St.Lukes churchyard.

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