Friday, 15 May 2020

Where have all the gulls gone?

Friday 15 May

I had my hour's walk within a kilometre of home this morning and took the easterly direction along the coast to the Mezquitilla boundary, resulting in the sighting of ten species including Serin, Barn Swallow and House Martin.  In all that time not a single gull observed until almost at the turning point when I found a dozen resting Lesser Black-backed Gulls out on the sea, about 200 metres from the shore.

Late afternoon I cycled down to Caleta harbour where, again, very few gulls to be seen sheltering on the beach in the inner harbour.  Not having seen a large fishing vessel since Easter I understand that the fishing fleet might be confined to port.  This would certainly explain the lack of gulls to be seen.  All very quiet apart from the raucous Monk Parakeets flying around behind me.

A closer look produced about a handful of Audouin's Gulls and as many as  eighteen Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Audouin's Gull Gaviota de Audouin Larus audouinii

Returning home I stopped for at least twenty minutes on the nearby footbridge and watched a pair of (possibly nesting) Little Ringed Plovers.  A single White Wagtail was also in the small pool left behind after the rain earlier in the week, the river now having dried up again.  But then, just as I was preparing to take some photos, a family of three were taking a leisurely walk down the river bed.  Fortunately, the trio moved off westwards away from the river bed and the Little Ringed Plovers returned - but not the White Wagtail.

Little Ringed Plover Chorlitejo Chico Charadrius dubius

More Monk Parakeets and Collared Doves flying around along with a couple of Blackbirds and then a trio of Spotless Starlings came to feed on the grass seeds just below the upstream side of the bridge.

Spotless Starling Estornino Pinto Sturnus unicolor

Birds seen:
Little Ringed Plover, Audouin's Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Monk Parakeet, Barn Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin.

Come in number N:C4R
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