Ruffled Feathers

Black-headed Gull (dodgy mobile phone pic)

This last week I’ve been noticing a lot of small fluffy feathers all over the playing field. It’s been a pretty wet and blustery week on the whole and the usual black-headed gulls have been there in large numbers, along with several other species, but the black-heads make up by far and away the largest proportion. They are also just turning from their winter plumage and getting the feature that they are named for. (In the winter they have a mostly white head with a small black patch just henind their eye).

Best guest is the extra feathers are related, but it’s quite a carpet and when the breeze gets up it picks them up and blows them dancing around the field. From a distance it looks a little like a carpet of cherry blossom but up close it’s clear what it is.

A Storm Is Coming

As I’ve mentioned here before, it’s not an uncommon sight to see flocks of seagulls camped out on the local playing field (see above).

We’re forecast for a big storm today, and when I was walking the dogs yesterday there was a maelstrom of gulls wheeling and turning over the field. They hadn’t settled but I suspect that they are coming inshore to escape rougher conditions out to see and along the coast.

I always take this as a better sign that we’re going to get strong winds, it seems to be a more reliable method of forecasting than watching the weatherman on TV! By the time you read this the gulls and I might be hunkered down staying out of the storm.