Sunday, 8 February 2015

Laughing Gull, New Brighton

At the second attempt today I finally caught up with the 1st winter laughing gull which has been at New Brighton for about five days. It showed very well today, moving between the beach and the pontoon on the marine lake, where it appeared far happier associating with the roosting waders rather than the other gulls. It wasn't just a question of size, because even on the beach it avoided the black-headed gulls and the adult Mediterranean gull, and spent most of its time alone around the breakwater. In fact in many ways it looked a bit like a wader, not much bigger than the redshanks, very long legged for a gull, quite long billed and very grey looking almost like a large knot in amongst the tightly packed ranks of redshanks. Other waders on the pontoon today included 11 purple sandpipers about 40 turnstones and a single sanderling.

I've seen laughing gull before, a summer plumage adult at Marton Mere a few years ago, and also plenty in the states, but I was still surprised at how small it was.

Before we left New Brighton, we called in for a look at the snow bunting on the beach near the life guard hut.

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