Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Soon...

Yesterday lunchtime I visited Colyton WTW for the first time in a while, and eventually found both Sibe Chiffs together in a really photo-friendly spot. Unfortunately that discovery coincided with a downpour, and before it stopped they had moved on and I didn't see them again. So no pics...

Quite good numbers of gulls on the river. I counted 65+ Med Gulls in the morning, and 50+ mid-afternoon. A really good movement of Common Gulls too, well into three figures, probably 2-300 at least. Lesser Black-backs were passing through as well, though I never saw more than 15-20 at a time; but no intermedius candidates yet.

I was in the Seaton area again first thing today, and had an early look at the gull collection. A surprising 55 Med Gulls amongst the otherwise modest gathering. Something quite profound has happened to the status of Med Gull on the Axe. And it's happened overnight. From barely any all winter, and an all-time max of 30-something, to...well, here we are in silly-numbers land since Jan 29th. Very weird.

By this time of the year birding me is usually bemoaning the direness of mid-February, how it's all a bit flat and monotonous. So I was just gearing myself up to write that sort of post. But Serin, a biffing great American Herring Gull, much personal Casp jam, Sibe Chiff joy and so on... You can see the problem. I have nothing to moan about. And yet...

As I made ready to leave the AHG last Friday, Phil jokingly called out: "Hopefully we'll have a proper bird for you soon!" or words to that effect. Phil meant something NOT a gull of course, but yes, no matter how good the birding, as winter drags on I cannot help wanting a change too. And not just in the weather. Spring is just around the corner, and the gull passage already underway is a beguiling reminder of spring's promise. It will bring birds. Lots and lots of birds. Hopefully - if I stay the course and keep my optics shiny - there will be that magic moment when you're traipsing along the beach early one morning, and...

Well, hello again...

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