Saturday, 4 July 2015

Two days at the coast

Back in May I had a brilliant day out with the North Solway Ringing Group ringing some very smart waders. The mixed flocks of dunlin and ringed plover sat in among the stones on the beach as they waited for the tide to drop to begin feeding again. In among them were a smattering of immaculately dressed turnstone!

A couple of weeks later in June were shuttled over to an island to monitor and ring the seabirds there. The young cormorants really look prehistoric and were in broods of 1 to 6. Some were too small to ring and just sat tight while the larger ones were very good at decorating our clothes!

The top of the island was covered with grass and nettles. Herring gull and lesser-black backed gull nets were everywhere and most had either eggs or small chicks which were all great at hiding  in the vegetation.

 Down on the rocky shore, greater-black backed gulls had young. They ranged from small fluffballs to large chicks. Even when they were small you could tell them by the size of the beak.