Mediterranean December afternoon

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The air was harsh and cold on the back of my throat and nipped at my fingers, but the Green Beach was as good a place as any to spend a few hours today – Stonechat, Reed Bunting, Chaffinch, Linnet, Song Thrush etc in the buckthorn and enough gulls around to be worth a grilling.
There were more on the coast, especially at Ainsdale, yesterday, but I didn’t really have the time to work through them – a coloured ringed Herring Gull or two was the best I could muster.
Old favourite “A Gull called Arse” (okay, R4RS) was at Weld Rd during the hooley on Wednesday as was an adult Med.

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Today, with the tide way out, the gulls were scattered all over the channels between Birkdale and Ainsdale, gorging on a razor and rayed trough shell wreck, so I concentrated on those washing and roosting around the freshwater run-off from the River Nile and points south.
One or two “traffic-light” primaried argentatus Herrings and two adult winter Med Gulls were the best bits of a blustery few hours.
One of the Meds looked suspiciously like the bird at the top of this entry, which I photographed when it was loitering around the southern end of the Marine Lake earlier this winter.
It headed inland in the direction of Hillside once it had enjoyed a wash and brush up in the run-off.
The other bird had much more heavily marked ear coverts and nape.
The usual interesting range of mantle tones on the Common Gulls, from dark charcoal to pearly grey, with a few birds with particularly dark winter “hoods”.
Twite (approx 30) and Linnet bounding about above the saltmarsh, but never settling.
Little Egrets inevitable.

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