Friday 4 May 2018

Bonaparte's Gull and Beaver

A morning surveying with Russ in Dorset today started well with a Red Kite en route at 06.05hrs SW over the A3052 near the Beer turning which had presumably roosted nearby.

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

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