Sunday, 13 June 2021

Not Cleaning Windows

Our windows were well overdue for a proper clean, so that was one of this afternoon's little jobs. Naturally the bins and camera weren't far away...

I didn't spot the first Red Kite until it was too far away to bother with a pic. Then at 14:40 two went over together, heading NW in very leisurely fashion...

Red Kites are always striking, even in moult.

I didn't get any more Red Kites, but at 15:08 the quality went up a notch. My first garden Hobby of the year. Clearly identifiable with the naked eye, I didn't even reach for the bins until I'd taken a few snaps...

Like the Red Kites, this Hobby passed slowly, circling a few times, but followed a more westerly track.

Gulls are a regular sight over our garden. I would guess that 99% or more are Herring Gulls. There are several local residents, as well as birds passing to and from the farmland north of us. Lesser Black-backed Gulls occur very infrequently; I tallied probably less than ten records last year, in an awful lot of garden watching. The nature of our location means that most views of passing gulls are from below, and getting a decent look at a gull's upperparts is often tricky or impossible. I've got pretty used to how an adult Herring Gull appears from underneath, and frequently don't need to raise my bins. Immature birds generally get a proper look though, so the young gull which sailed over the garden at 16:10 got a grilling. It was quite distant but low, and it paused to circle a couple of times, banking sufficiently to show off the upperparts. Ooh! It looked a little dark, and something else about it rang alarm bells, so I grabbed a quick burst of shots before it vanished. I'll be honest, at range through bins my suspicion had been immature LBBG, but one look at the back of my camera and I realised it was ten times better than that...

2nd-summer (3cy) Yellow-legged Gull

Notwithstanding the little flush of juvenile birds we get from July on, Yellow-legged Gull is a rare enough sight along the coast here, so to get one from the garden was totally unexpected. Especially in June.

I have never taken so long to get the windows cleaned...


  1. Didn't George Formby sing a song about "When I'm cleaning windows"? Don't think there was anything in it about ID-ing immature gulls, though.


    1. Ha ha! No, I think his interests lay elsewhere! 😄