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Shapwick Heath (Hobbies + Med Gull) - 12 July 2013

Shapwick Heath - 12 July 2013 - morning

Fabulous weather - dry, bright, warm and sunny with a light breeze.

5+ Hobbies (all 2cy individuals) - one was found loafing around on trees early on, but it began insecting at 0915 hours and was then joined by the others. Individuals and groups of up to three falcons in view on and off throughout the morning.

2 Sparrowhawk - one adult male hunting low over Noah's Lake, another male seen later carrying food.

1 Marsh Harrier - a second calendar year bird seen foraging around the edge of the Lake.

14+ Common Buzzard - one pale morph individual perched in a tree for an hour or so. Later, after 0930 hours, individuals and groups of up to 4 hawks soaring on the thermals.


1 Mediterranean Gull (adult or 3cy?) - located flying around very low above Noah's Lake (possibly lifted off from there?) being mobbed by a couple of young Black-headed Gulls. In view for about 20 minutes, insecting above the Lake. Gradually rose up and drifted off Westwards. Typical adult summer plumage (red bill, dark head, white eye lashes, etc.) but with black markings on the feathers just in from the white wing-tip. Does this point to it being a 3cy individual?
6+ Bearded Reedling - two groups seen (and heard) along beside the main track. On party of 3 or 4 hung around and were seen on and off for a couple of hours.
4 Bittern - all sightings of flying birds.
10+ Grey Heron - island nesting pair has at least 2 large young.
1 Black-tailed Godwit - flew low over Noah's Lake heading East.
10+ Lapwing
5 Little Egret
1 Cuckoo
3 Kingfisher
8+ Sand Martin
15+ Barn Swallow
8+ Common Swift
2 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Whitethroat
2 Cetti's Warbler
1 Blackcap
4+ Reed Warbler
2 Reed Bunting
1 Bullfinch
2 Stock Dove
1 Wader sp. flew towards Meare Heath - probably Green Sandpiper.


Re: Shapwick Heath (Hobbies + Med Gull) - 12 July 2013


There was also 1 Common Tern over Noah's Lake late morning.

I've now had a chance to surf around on the 'net and have confirmed that the Mediterranean Gull was in its 3rd calendar year (ie. hatched in 2011). Click on the 'website' link below.


Re: Shapwick Heath (Hobbies + Med Gull) - 12 July 2013

Hi Nick,

Juv Black-headed Gulls are notorious beggars towards other Gulls. I watched such behaviour at Ham Wall on Monday evening after being lucky with the Little Bittern. I am wondering if this was enthusiastic begging for food rather than mobbing?
An Adult BHG had to chased off a Juvenile on Monday.

Best Wishes


Re: Shapwick Heath (Hobbies + Med Gull) - 12 July 2013

Hi John,

Thanks for your note.

It didn't appear to be food-begging type mobbing. But having said that I've never really studied gulls so I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility.

Best regards,