After the survey we decided to take a 10 mile diversion to Longham Lakes where the Bonaparte's Gull performed very well. I'm certainly no gull expert, but although it looks very much like an adult it does have a black strip on P9 and some black markings on the primary coverts/alula area which would make it a 2nd Summer or 3rd Calendar Year. This would also fit as I believe it is a returning bird from the previous year when it was a 1st Summer. It spent most of its time harassing a group of Tufted Ducks and stealing molluscs from them as they re-surfaced. It would then carry the mollusc off in it's crop to presumably later break the shell undisturbed.
This evening a walk along the Otter was worthwhile as I saw only my second Beaver sighting of the year, a young animal (without ear tags) from last year. The previous sighting was on 30th April this year and was the green tagged male.
|3rd Cal Year Bonaparte's Gull at Langham Lakes, Dorset - Check out that classic leg colour|
|3rd Cal Year Bonaparte's Gull with 2nd Cal Year Black-headed Gull, Longham Lakes, Dorset|
|Bonaparte's Gull showing black strip in P9 & black markings in the primary coverts / alula area making it a 3rd Cal Year|
You can just make out the mollusc in its crop!
|Bonaparte's Gull, Longham Lakes, Dorset - Carrying mollusc in crop|
|Bonaparte's Gull, Longham Lakes, Dorset|