In amongst a flock of seagulls…

No, I don’t mean the 80s pop band (they were around in the 80s weren’t they), but the black headed gulls bobbing about on the water at Daventry Country Park.

In my last post I waffled about my discovery of a totally new species for me – the black tern.  Well, that wasn’t the only new species that I spotted that day when out with my scope.  As I mentioned the black terns seemed to be quicker than the common terns over the water, and I had a bit of trouble following them in my scope.  This was made a little more difficult by the fact that I get easily distracted and, on this occasion it was probably a good thing.  Bobbing about on the water, seemingly quite happy amongst the bigger gulls, was a black headed gull.  Unlike the gulls named black headed gulls (BH gulls), this one did actually have a black head, rather than chocolate brown.  I was sadly very excited.  Not only because here was the second new species in a day, but because I actually noticed it and decided it was different.  Notebook time again (it’s becoming a bit of a habit) and I really wish I could draw, but I can’t so I scribbled instead.

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I noted that the bird was smaller, as I mentioned above, that it had a black head that came all the way down its neck (that is what I was trying to get at in the picture) and that it didn’t have a white ring around its eye – I somehow knew that this was important (probably due to the huge number of bird books I had read over the years).  The bill also looked neater than that of the BH gulls all around it and it seemed to have a pinky tinge to its breast feathers.

I’ll not bore you with the details, but this was a Little Gull, larus minutus, unlike the BH gull, appropriately named as it is the smallest gull, and is described as more delicate than the BH gull with which it bears some similarities.  So, one trip with a telescope to the country park and two new birds to add to my lifetime list (if I kept such a thing).

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