Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Goosanders in Kilmarnock

The past few winters have seen a few Goosanders (Mergus merganser) turn up in the unlikely location of Kay Park pond - a unassuming municipal feature near the town centre of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. These large sawbills probably originate from the River Irvine (which is very high and fast at the moment). Last weekend produced a surprising 13 birds! Three adult drakes and 10 redheads. I haven't checked out the possibility that the ducks use Kay Park pond as a roost site but this may be true since two important roost sites (Craufurdland and Northcraig Reservoir) have been lost to 'modernisation'/development. Weather was overcast with heavy rain so just a record shot posted here. The birds are nervous of humans so please don't flush them off the pond.

BirdGuides article on the Kensington Gull

Gull expert, Martin Garner has written an article for BirdGuides on Des McKenzie's unusual gull in Kensington Gardens, London.

Larid-aches: Some comments on the Kensington Yellow-legged Gull

Monday, November 13, 2006

Barnes WWT

Few photos from yesterday...

Kensington YL Gull

Went back to Kensington Gardens on Saturday to try for more shots of the Yellow-legged Gull. General opinion is that it shows many features of the atlantis race from the Azores. All of the favoured posts on the Longwater were occupied by Cormorants for much of the time I was there and although the gull frequently flew in from The Serpentine, with nowhere to land it circled back and away again. Not many birds would argue with a Cormorant (except perhaps a Pelican) and there were frequent aggressive interchanges on the posts as dominant birds shoved others off. Nothing really to add to previous pictures except one showing how dark the streaking on the head can look at certain angles. Almost looks as dark as the recent bird in Ireland. Anyway, I’d rather be watching a Murrelet!

Monday, November 06, 2006