Thursday, 21 August 2008

Gulls about Town

As we walked across Stoke to Fenton Park, we cut across the common land where I noticed quite a lot of gulls resting on the grass. Stoke is an inland City, well away from the coast and close to the Pennines. Over the last few years, Black Headed Gulls have been quite numerous in this area, frequently seen at Trentham Lakes and scavenging around tips and on farmland. However, I do not recall seeing so many Herring Gulls as I observed today. (above)
Further along, a group of Black Headed Gulls and a few Herring Gulls were active around a flooded field. The Black Headed Gulls are in their summer plumage and the heads are white with a grey fleck on the side at the back of the eye. They are smaller and paler than the Herring Gulls. Juvenile Herring Gulls are a motley grey colour.
Just occasionally, there are a few Black Headed Gulls resting amongst the Herring Gulls. Here, the yellow beaks of the Herring Gulls can be seen with the distinct red spot near the tip of the bill.
I wonder how much these coastal birds displace native inland species now that they are successfully living the City life?

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