Birding round Durham & Sunderland 2012

Birdwatching in & around Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, County Durham.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

juv Med Gull

picked this out in flight, but had a few doubts when it came to settle

should imagine ive seen juvenile Mediterranean Gull previously, but cant recall where or when ....

dark legs, clean white underwing, prominant white fringes to feathers, thick 'block' of black flight feathers
several juvenile Common & Black headed Gulls were present for comparison.

The Med Gull was a very rare UK bird until the 1950s, it is widespread in winter and breeding in ever increasing numbers. Its present UK breeding population makes it an Amber List species.

The BTO / RSPB estimated the UK breeding population as 108 / 110 pairs in 2000, most nest within black-headed gull colonies at coastal wetlands. More widespread in winter with some coastal sites in SE England attracting more than a hundred Mediterranean Gulls. In recent years the species has become more regular, most notably on the Northumbrian coast where double figure groups have been noted.
This species has only bred once in Co.Durham as far as i know, although todays bird may well have crossed the North Sea to reach us.

Earlier the lads had a Hobby through at noon, we had a cycle round but didnt see much out of the ordinary.

Hopefully things will continue to hot up in The Freezer.

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