Thursday, 22 September 2016

Black?

The most common gull to be found in inland regions of the UK, the Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) has a population in excess of 140,000 breeding pairs. Their numbers are boosted further during the winter months to around 2.2 million individuals.
We found these ones, enjoying the peace and quiet of Mapperley Reservoir yesterday. Already in their winter plumage, they have lost their summer head colouring and are left with just a dirty smudge behind the eye. Not that they ever have a 'black' head at all. Despite the name, their summer plumage actually consists of chocolate-brown head-gear.
Highly opportunistic in habit, Black-headed Gulls have taken advantage of our 'throw-away' society by making the most of our waste. Land-fill sites have become a stronghold for them although it is thought that they first started to colonise urban areas during the 'little ice-age' of the 1880's and 1890's when factory workers took pity on them and started feeding them scraps.
These individuals didn't seem to be interested in scraps. Indeed this yawning one, looked more as if he was ready for a nap!
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