Once again, the festive season and time away from work allowed for Gullmas at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire.
The Christmas period allows for the most prolonged period of consecutive evenings scanning through the gull roost during the winter season, though what appears depends on many variables – the weather being key, not only here but further afield.
A total of 13 roosts were attended from December 20th-January 4th during which a minimum of 163, 680 birds were noted in total.
The highlights included 4-5 Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus, 3-4 different Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis across the December 26th-January 4th period, including probably 2 on the 30th, and a 1st winter Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus between December 24th-29th.
A selection of statistics:
The average number per roost 12,590-13,990
Species totals roost average
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus – 1,595-1,835
Common Gull L. canus – 10,100-11,160
Herring Gull L. argentatus – 680-750
Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus -220-250
Scarcer species notes
Mediterranean Gull I. melanocephalus – 2 adults and 2-3 1st winter
Yellow-legged Gull L. michahellis – 3-4 1st winter
Little Gull H. minutus – 1 1st winter
Despite the moon going down on another Gullmas, there are still several weeks of the gull roosting season to see some of the more uncommon species.
For more news from Tophill Low NR featuring Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina, Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca and news from the January 1st big day, click here.