Huge roost for the end of March

The gull roost at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire continued to benefit from the continous east wind last weekend.

Almost 24,000 birds roosted on the 24th which is an incredible number for the back end of March. The number included 719 argenteus Herring Gull (probably 1,000 flew through the res during the afternoon) and 298 Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus which were no doubt pushed inland due to the wind, while 26+ Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus graellsii was an unusual number. The other highlight was a minimum of 3 adult Little Gull L. minutus which is an excellent count for any winter roost, and 2 adult Mediterranean Gull L. melanocephalus were again in attendance.

The bird below looked a little odd. An argenteus Herring Gull with a pink green bill. This, or one that looked similar, roosted on Feb 17th but has not appeared since.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus argenteus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire March 2013

Good Friday saw me back at Tophill Low NR. Nice in the sunshine, but still decidedly cold in the wind. A count of Hempholme Meadow turned up 2 Snipe Gallinago gallinago with a single Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus showing briefly in flight, and a Little Egret Egretta garzetta was also present. Little else of note could be found away from D res where the 3 Goosander Mergus merganser remain. Around 4,000 gulls roosted including 2 Little Gull, while only a single Herring Gull and 3 Great Black-backed were in for the night before I left at dusk. One of the more bizarre roosts of this cold spell… at one point I was sitting in warm sunshine – while the snow came down around me.  

Little Gull Larus minutus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire March 2013

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