Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Football at The Scrubs

Things have been pretty quiet at The Scrubs of late. The grassland is almost devoid of life. I flushed a solitary Meadow Pipit the other day - and nothing else.

Last Sunday I journeyed down to my patch a little later than my normal early start and thus was confronted by a horde of shouty amateur footballers. Despite the human activity, added to by a load of dog walkers, around 300 gulls managed to find space to loaf. They were mostly standing or squatting in a northerly direction face on into a decidely nippy brisk north wind. I immediately set about sifting through the masses on the lookout for the unusual amongst the usual. That tactic worked a couple of Sundays ago when I managed to pick out a lone and aloof Mediterranean Gull.

No such luck today.  
 A Black-headed Gull hanging out with a Common Gull
 Another pair of the above-mentioned
 2nd-winter Herring Gull
 A near 3rd-winter Herring Gull
Part of the bigger picture
It was quite interesting to count and just watch the assembled throng of gulls as the wafted up into the air when disturbed by a passing dog only to swoop down to land a short distance away.

On leaving, I looked up and saw an adult Great Black-back heading over. Our first for the year. All of a sudden that target of 100 species for the year began to feel real. But only for five minutes.

You've got to have hope. Right?

3 comments:

Margaret Adamson said...

FOOTBALL! You have lost me!!I am in North Donegal and saw the American Wigeon, the male Smew, and Iceland and Glaucous gull and great views of merlin all done in the mist, rain, snow and sun!

The Urban Birder said...

That's really good Margaret!

I'm starting a new urban birding column in Bird Watching Magazine in the spring that may hopefully run for a couple of years. I fancy coming back to Northern Ireland to do another town or city.

Any suggestions?

jeffollerton said...

David - if you get to Southern Ireland, and specifically Dublin, I can recommend Booterstown Marsh as a great urban nature reserve, I was really impressed with it when I visited last year - see:

https://jeffollerton.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/is-booterstown-marsh-the-best-small-urban-nature-reserve-in-europe/

Regards,

Jeff