The weekend of four seasons. Bright warm sunshine, heavy rain, howling gales and finally snow which resulted in the end of the weekend gull watching at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire as 12,000 literally vanished before my eyes.
Gull roost season lasts about 26 weeks, well the cold part does between October and March. So as I close in on 50 trips to the shed… somewhere in the region of 200 hours sat in varying temperatures, we finally reached the coldest roosts of the winter just as long vigils come to an end. Ten long hours looking at the gulls over the weekend, with 9,000+ birds roosting on Saturday and 12,500+ roosting on Sunday, although there was a little passage north during the day.
The best of it was a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus which appeared briefly on Saturday evening before flying north. A 1st winter Little Gull L. minutus dropped in late on Sunday evening remaining until 6pm. A bird roosting for its 16th night – or a completely different one???
The pics are a bit grainy, but given the light the best I could do!
Other birds of note included 5 Little Egrets Egretta garzetta flying south of D res in ones and twos on Saturday afternoon, while 5 Goosanders Mergus merganser were present both Saturday and Sunday, although other observers reported 8 present. These were the only 4 I could fit into a picture at noon on Saturday – it really was dark!