Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Lesser Black Back Gull chicks 14/06/2017

Site: Wilstone Reservoir
Ringers: JT, LL, AL
Time: 16:30

The tern rafts at Wilstone Reservoir have been dominated by lesser black-backed gulls this year. Last year one pair of LBBG nested on the rafts for the first time and this year two of the four rafts have a pair with three chicks on each, Unsurprisingly any common terns that did attempt to nest on the rafts have given up and the oystercatcher pair have also decided against nesting on the rafts this year. [NB Oystercatchers were later discovered to have apparently nested successfully on the bank in the middle of the reservoir along with a pair of lapwing.]
This afternoon in tropical heat we visited the rafts and ringed six very healthy-looking LBBG chicks. Development stage was between feathers just breaking out of pin on the smallest to feathers with about 5cm out of pin on the largest. There was no sign of anything else nesting on the rafts, but with the lesser black-back gull chicks likely to leave the rafts in the next couple of weeks there is still time for a late nesting attempt by the terns.

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