Following on from my last post the prediction of a good year for Mediterranean Gulls was to be proved correct a couple of days later after a brief visit to Bracelet Bay on Gower. Last year this was pretty much a guaranteed spot to see this species and this year would appear to be no different. I will let the following picture do the talking (click to see a larger version on Flickr).
By my count there are no less than twenty Mediterranean Gulls in that shot. This is the most that I have ever captured in a photograph before and almost the largest flock that I have ever seen full stop. The best thing is that there were birds off to the right of this panorama and even that only represented about half the full count after a loud motorbike scared a good proportion off before I had managed to get my camera out. Conservative estimates must put the full count at somewhere between thirty to forty Mediterranean Gulls which is simply staggering. The species certainly seems to be gaining a foot hold.
A couple of the birds present were ringed including the individual above. The white ring appears to read P17 and I have passed the details onto one of the local recorders in the hope that I can get some life history on the bird. This is the first time that I have attempted such an activity so it will be very interesting to see the results.
I will leave you with a couple of other pictures that show the various ages of the birds that were present. These shots also serve as an excellent comparison exercise between the markings of a Black Headed Gull and a Mediterranean Gull.