Gullmas at Tophill Low NR 2014/15

The gull roost at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire December 2014

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.

Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire December 2014

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.

Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire December 2014

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. melanocephalus2 adults and 2-3 1st winter

Yellow-legged Gull L. michahellis – 3-4 1st winter

Little Gull H. minutus1 1st winter

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

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.

The moon at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire January 2015

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.

Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire December 2014

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