Sunday 30 July 2023

And it was all yellow...

Hot on the heals of last month's patch tick (Night Heron), along came another on Saturday evening. Yellow-legged Gull - a spanking adult on the beach at where the Dunbar Burn runs out. 

This is a first for me at Druridge and a first for the patch as far as I am aware.

Stands out a bit

I first got onto the bird from some distance away, it was at the end of the burn and I was in the dunes opposite the path to the hides. It was a 'Herring-type' large gull but the darker shade of the mantle rather than leg colour that alerted me to something different. The birds looked settled and there was nobody to disturb them, other than a couple with a dog at heal. Nothing is that straightforward, by the time I got there, the bloke had decided that the pool between the two spits that gulls were roosting on, would be the ideal place for a swim. 

The birds hadn't moved far, just a little way up the beach. I got onto the bird, my suspicion was correct, yellow-legged gull. The bird gradually made it it's way back to the end of the burn, where I managed to get some photos.

Some of the hundred-plus gulls. Can't spot anything odd here, but the bird in the middle looks a bit odd. 

I've seen thousands of yellow-legged gulls on my travels, but this was only my third in Northumberland, the last was a East Chevington in July 2006 and the first at Bamburgh in 2000. This takes my patch list to 256 and the overall patch list to 276. 

I was back on the patch just after 6am this morning. There was still a small rave going on! The drum'n'base didn't bother this female barn owl.

The Barn Owl was mobbed by five yellow wagtails as it hunted, when they settled, one of the adults looked to be 'flava' race or maybe 'channel'. I'd seen two yellow wags on the beach earlier, which I assumed were different birds. 

Yellow wagtail

Meadow pipit about to feed it's young

Another yellow wagtail