Monday, 20 July 2015

Titchfield Haven, Hampshire

It was a misty drizzley day on the south coast today, so with our options limited we called in at Titchfield Haven hoping to see the long staying greater yellowlegs. We saw it well on the River Meon, from the bridge approaching the reserve and then again briefly from the Suffern Hide. My 2nd greater yellowlegs. Also of interest today, a water rail, at least 80 avocets and at least eight Mediterranean gulls including five juveniles and an adult feeding two juveniles.

Year: 238 (Greater Yellowlegs)

Mediterranean gulls are now regular breeding birds on the south coast, but this was the first time I have seen an adult with chicks. What interested me particularly was the fact that there were five juveniles on this island (you can see four in the photo above), but when the adult landed only two of them went crazy and begged for food. Obviously the other two must have different parents, but they didn't even bat an eyelid at the arrival of the adult and the noise that ensued from its offspring, in fact they remained asleep. It's actually quite hard to imagine a human baby remaining so calm whilst one close by was fed.

The begging procedure involved lowering their bodies into a submisssive stance whilst at the same time tapping the adults bill.

Eventually the adult regurgated food which the juveniles took from its open mouth.

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