Gulls in Weymouth

RSPB Lodmoor is in Weymouth on the south coast of England. I’m travelling through and have brought my camera for a few hours. There are plenty of gulls here and as it’s a beautiful day, with wonderful light, I get the chance to photograph them.

Gulls are surprisingly tricky to identify. There are specialists who can tell the difference between each species and identify exactly how old each individual is. I’m not one of them.

I suspect this one is a Herring Gull, Larus argentatus, and I know that it’s not a breeding adult yet:

Herring Gull - Lodmoor - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I love how ‘tucked-in’ and streamlined the feet are.

Its primary flight feathers are looking a little worn. It must be time for it to grow some more and replace them. It’s pretty impressive that they’ve evolved to do that. The more I think about it, the more impressed I am.

Amazingly Herring Gulls are red listed on the UK’s Birds of Conservation Concern. I’m not sure most people in the UK understand the enormity of the wildlife crisis we face due to industrial farming and fishing and the ongoing climate catastrophe. Every year more species are added to the red list and more are put on the black list of birds which no longer breed here.

It’s tragic that we don’t elect politicians who are willing to tell us what we don’t want to hear; that our lives have to change if we are going to live sustainably.

There’s also a Black-Headed Gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, in flight nearby. It’s also not an adult yet and isn’t in full breeding plumage:

Black Headed Gull - Lodmoor - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It will eventually have matching red legs and beak with a glorious chocolate brown head.

What future awaits them?

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