One Big Bright Red Beak

On Saturday, I went on a birding trip to Pagham Harbour and Arundel WWT where I saw many new birds for my life list. Pagham Harbour was quite exciting; there was a really unusual hide in the RSPB reserve which had a main road in between us and the birds!

The view from the hide (Avocets in the distance!)

The view from the hide (Avocets in the distance!)

There were signs of spring at Arundel WWT, I was surprised to see so many ducklings and young Coots!

Coot family

Coot family

 

Mallard Duckling

Mallard Duckling

When we finally got to the Sand Martin Hide, where we hoped to see the Mediterranean Gull, I had already seen 64 species that day! I really wanted to see that Mediterranean Gull because not only would it be one more new species for my life list, but would bring my day total up to 65! Mediterranean Gulls are quite special birds in the UK, because even though one or two pairs breed in the UK each year, their main distribution is around Turkey and the Mediterranean Sea, where their name suggests. The problem is, they look almost identical to Black-Headed Gulls, the only real difference is that a Mediterranean Gull has a brighter beak with a faint black stripe running vertically through the middle. To make matters worse, there were at least 200 Black Headed Gulls that were visible from the hide and only 1 Mediterranean Gull.

A Needle in  a Haystack!

A Needle in a Haystack!

I tried to find the Mediterranean Gull by myself, but I gave up and had to ask the warden on hand to show me it. It seemed like he found it with much ease and I was quite impressed when he showed me. I was amazed at how bright and conspicuous the beak was, it was probably as bright as a perfectly ripe tomato! I was very pleased with the number of species I saw that day, it might just have been one of the best days I’ve ever had!

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