Sunday, 21 November 2010

Mediterranean Gulls in the rain

It has been raining nearly constantly since Wednesday and with the wind from the north-east it wasn't very nice to be out. Did a few errands yesterday but looking for Waxwings along the way as there are still flocks passing through. There were 30 reported at Aldi in the town centre on Friday but they were gone by the time I looked and again no sign yesterday. I did see a very unhappy Common Buzzard perched up in a tree in the rain by the motorway slip road roundabout at the Lambton end. There's plenty of food for it there with dead Pheasants all around that area. A Kestrel was also perched up, looking equally sorry for itself only a few metres away. Also on Friday I was looking for Waxwings as I passed through Great Lumley without any luck but I did get a glimpse of a gull flying around the Co-op there, that may have been a Mediterranean Gull. There was one at this very spot last winter which I saw amongst the Black-headed Gulls on a number of occassions and once at the Riverside Park so I'm certainly going to be keeping an eye out for it again.
To get my eye in I popped up the coast this morning to Newbiggin in Northumberland, as it is the best place by far in the NE to see Mediterranean Gulls. Last winter there were 26+ here. So far the numbers reported this winter are much lower and I've only heard of a maximum of six. Still I saw them straight away, they are that easy, and eventually saw six individuals myself and rattled off quite a few photographs

Here are three of the six Mediterranean Gulls at Newbiggin

With a Black-headed Gull for comparison

They really are great birds.

Back at Waldridge, the bird table in the garden is just starting to attract a variety of birds, though far too many Wood Pigeons for my liking,  but no more Siskins as yet. The Tawny Owls continue to call around midnight despite the weather and the Great spotted Woodpecker continues to come tantalisingly close to the table but not actually on it when I'm watching.


  1. Hi, no birding for me this weekend, but did hear there were 40 or so Waxwing near the Whitehills roundabout both Sat & Sunday.

  2. Didn't here about them until after dark this evening. I'll certainly be checking in the morning.