Eiders and Gulls at Hill Head

This afternoon I popped down to Hill Head with my In-laws, Kath and Eric who are visiting over the festive period. The wife wanted us clear of the house for a bit of peace and quiet!!

Upon parking by the sailing club I could see a small flock of Eider quite close inshore.

Eider, Hill Head, 24 Dec 2008

I counted 21 birds in total of which the majority were adult drakes. They are normally much further out when I see them. I could see some were busy preening, whilst others were diving down feeding in the shallows.

Four species of Gull were loafing on the shingle beach at low tide. Including a single Lesser Black-backed which I don’t see too often down here.

Lesser and Greater Black-backs, Common and Black-headed Gull.                  Hill Head, 24 Dec 2008.

Black-headed Gull, Hill Head Harbour, 24 Dec 2008

Great Black-backed Gull, Hill Head, 24 Dec 2008

As we walked past the end of the Haven we flushed a Grey Heron which flew off  up the river. I only had brief views but I could see it was carrying possibly the biggest fish I have seen a Heron tackle. The picture below is a litte distant but the fish can be clearly seen hanging from the Herons bill. Needless to say the Black-headed Gull in attendance received no Xmas goodwill from its larger cousin.

Grey Heron, Titchfield Haven, 24 Dec 2008

Lastly I would just like to wish the few people who read this Blog a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Steve Copsey

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