Portrait of a serial killer

Early on Wednesday morning I had a look at the Recreation ground to see what sorts of birds might be feeding on the close cropped grass on a slightly misty morning. It was a case of the early bird gets the worm There were thirty lesser black backed gulls and similar numbers of woodpigeon jackdaw and rook.

 This number of these gulls is unprecedented locally and some time later I managed to get this photo of a lesser black backed gull which had been feeding on something a little larger than worms.

Lesser black backed Gull

The gull that had been keeping the woodpigeons company was feasting on one of them. It was unclear if it had killed the young bird itself or was making the most of a road casualty.In case you were wondering what the white patch is on the bill here is a close up profile. (look away if you are of a nervous disposition).

Lesser blackbacked gull head

Walking locally I have started to notice very subtle changes in  some birds behaviour. Young blue tits, great tits and long tailed tits are starting to gang up in mixed flocks as they become independent of the parent birds which gives them a safety in numbers protection which they will adopt until next spring.

Long tailed tit (2)Young long tailed tit

Other birds are still very much at that just fledged stage and most ponds around the village have young moorhen chicks being fed by parents. I am not going to state, as others have suggested, that they are the ugliest babies on the planet. I leave it to the reader to decide if the mix of blue eye shadow, bald (as a coot) head and impossibly big feet is cute or curio.

Moorhen Chick


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