Friday, 11 December 2009

Spectacular, but a disappointment

Near to the Ripple Windmill (between Ringwould and Walmer, a little way from Ripple itself) I noticed a large white cloud above one of the fields.

You get used to gulls following tractors round here, but by any standards this was a spectacular group. Last year any group of Black-headed Gulls feeding behind the plough had it's fair share of Mediterranean Gulls with them.

The number was large and the continuous movement made it difficult to examine every bird, but I watched for a good time and I hope that, had there been anything of note, I would have come across it. There were a few Common Gulls, but I didn't find one single Med amongst them, which was a surprise, and I certainly didn't find the Franklin's Gull, seen twice in Essex at the end of last month but not seen since.

If you wonder if it is worth the energy that the gulls expend in this sort of melee just look at the three nearest birds, each has a large juicy worm, not my idea of a snack but they seem to be well pleased.

I was surprised that as soon as the train, on it's was from Deal to Martin Mill, passed, they all flew off in a large "dread" before returning after a couple of minutes. The area is busy and they are used to tractors and cars, so I wonder why the train spooked then, perhaps it was on time and they weren't used to that?

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