Gullmas 2013/14 Part two: The best run of Larids ever at Tophill continues

Mediterranean Gull  Ichthyaetus melanocephalus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire January 2014

The second week of the annual festive season of Laridae continued at Tophill Low NR, East Yorks with another good run of birds.

At least one 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus appeared daily from the 29th December until the year’s end.

2014 began with a bit of stormy weather, which produced an influx of birds into the D res roost. An adult Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides, the third glaucoides of the Gullmas period, appeared in among the 3000 roosting large Larids which also saw the largest gathering of the period – 23,000 birds.

Gullmas ended with an influx of Mediterranean Gulls Ichthyaetus melanocephalus including 3 adults on January 5th.

Gullmas statistics

The period saw
approximately 221,000-225,000 birds roost over 14 nights

The average numbers of birds roosting was 15800-16,100 birds

A minimum of 9 Mediterranean Gull I. melanocephalus
– 3+ adults, 3+ 2nd winters and 3 1st winter

Two Iceland Gull L. glaucoides

One Kumlien’s Gull L. glaucoides kumlieni

One Glaucous Gull L.  hyperboreus

With a little help from the weather causing a movement of large Larids, especially over the December  22nd- 23rd period and also across the dates of December 31st/January 1st – it is the best continuous period of gull records ever at Tophill Low NR since it was built in 1959.

There are still around 12 weeks of the gull roosting season to go – or from my point of view, 24 more evenings sat in a shed searching D res – and potentially a minimum of 386,000 gulls to look through.


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