The cold weather continues

It might be March, but the weather is still more like January!!!

Little Gull Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire, March 2013

However, you’ve got to make the most of it. Cold means Laridae!

Last weekend, the roosting numbers were rather end of the season like, you could see the end of the long cold vigils, 4-5 Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus graellsii appeared on both evenings, but this cold spell keeps the interest alive with over 20,000 birds roosting on D res at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire on Saturday evening.

It is always good to find a number of species in the roost and this evening saw seven species take advantage of the sites sheltered conditions with other roost sites no doubt taking the brunt of the wind. Another adult Little Gull L. minutus appeared late-afternoon remaining until dusk, while two cracking full-summer Mediterranean Gulls L. melanocephalus were present from 4pm – the picture doesn’t due it justice, but these are simply stunning in full breeding plumage.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire, March 2013

Plenty of big gulls appeared, but even with the weather trying to help, a large white-winged gull still fails to drop in. However, the 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls L. f. graellsii which roosted are no doubt migrants on the move.

A Little-ringed Plover Charadruis dubius a week ago is the only sign of summer I’ve encountered, though others have connected with a few more… all the news is on the Tophill Low NR website.

Away from the gulls, everything is still rather quiet. Still a few Lesser Redpolls Carduelis flammea cabaret around, the Willow Tit Parus montanus still puts in appearances and the Little Egret Egretta garzetta remain, and though a few birds are singing… it would be nice to see and hear some birds migrating! 

Willow Tit Parus montanus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire, March 2013

While we wait for spring, so do the inverts! A single Chestnut Conistra vaccinii was attracted to the lights last week, and the weather this week meant trapping would have been a pointless exercise on Friday night.

Still, you’ve got to make the most of it. What are the odds on something cracking in the gull roost tomorrow? One Yorkshire site not so far away held Glaucous, Iceland and Caspian Gull this afternoon…

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