Mediterranean Gull Invasion - Part 1: Burry Port

Friday, July 23, 2010 Adam Tilt 0 Comments


If you look back through my posts from last year you will come across a couple of entries concerning the Mediterranean Gulls which I saw regularly frequenting the grassy banks at Bracelet Bay near Mumbles, Gower. Each time there was a high tide you were pretty much guaranteed to see a small flock of them there waiting it out. At the time I was absolutely amazed as apart from one sighting at the WWT Llanelli site I had never seen this Gull before and so finding a regular flock was pretty exciting. I had been looking out for their return this year hoping that they would come back to the same location. Initial searches were proving fruitless but as it turns out I may just have been a couple of weeks too early. Last week I headed over to Pembrey Harbour next to Burry Port in what proved to be the only hour of decent weather that day.

22098 - A stormy day at Burry Port

Almost immediately I had two Sandwich Terns fly overhead while a couple of Common Sandpipers and a family of Pied Wagtails fed on the exposed mud. I could see a single Oystercatcher battling with a very rapidly approaching tide but my main interest was with the huge Gull roost that was split into two groups across the various sand banks. I got the scope out and began a detailed scan to see what was about. The first group was almost exclusively Black Headed Gulls numbering around 180 with a couple of Herring Gulls thrown in for good measure. The other flock was even larger with 300 Black Headed Gulls, 190 Herring Gulls, 2 Lesser Black Backed Gulls and 2 Great Black Backed Gulls. Within this mass though I was able to pick out a gem in the form of an adult Mediterranean Gull! At last I had my first of the year and in a completely new location for me.

Feeling very happy I returned to the car as an approaching rain shower started to make its way up the Burry Inlet. On the drive home I popped into Sandy Water Park where there can often be found another Gull roost in the evenings. Numerous adult and juvenile Black Headed Gulls were duly in place but nestled amongst them were a further 6 Mediterranean Gulls. Absolutely fantastic and a full range of ages as well from this years young up to fully grown adults. I had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one for this species and a couple of days later my prediction was to be proved correct.......

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