|Tufted duck, common tern, black headed gull|
and little gull.
On Wednesday evening I took a walk to the Kingfisher Hide hoping to see a little gull that had been reported earlier. They don't usually stay for long so I thought I would have missed it but, sure enough there it was dancing over the water as it arced, turned and swooped in a bid to catch the hatching midges. It stayed a long way off amid a group of black-headed gulls and four common terns that had just arrived.
My photos are terrible. Is it a little gull, or is it just very far away? Despite the range, you can see the plain white upper side, rounded wings, jet-black face and the clincher; dark underwings.
|Little gull and black-headed gull.|
I saw my first one in Christchurch Harbour in the 70s and it was swimming like a little paper boat. They are buoyant in the air and in the water, giving the impression of being almost weightless.
There is no other small gull that we see frequently in the UK but on the other side of the Atlantic there are replaced by Bonaparte's gulls which have black wingtips and red feet. They are sometimes, but rarely, seen off the UK coast.