Tag Archives: lesser black backed gull

Lesser Black-Backed Gull Rescue

A little bit of a wildlife adventure today. On my way back to work after lunch I noticed a lesser black-backed gull resting on a grass bank outside the medical school building. It seemed fairly relaxed, and wasn’t in any apparent distress, but it was odd to see it there. Like the more numerous herring gulls, the adults should be busy flying patrols and feeding their chicks (there are two lesser black-backed chicks on the med school roof). It was struggling to raise itself up and I thought perhaps it had injured a leg. Other than that it looked ok to my untrained eye.

I took a number of photos before heading back to my office.

Lesser black-backed gull

Lesser black-backed gull at the University of Brighton Falmer site.

Lesser black-backed gull

Lesser black-backed gull

Lesser black-backed gull

Lesser black-backed gull

As I said, I’d assumed it would recover and make its way back to its roost, but I did check later on and it was still there mid afternoon and, if anything, was more placid than earlier. Something clearly wasn’t right. I made a quick phone call to a local rescue centre who asked if I could bring it in, and explained to me how best to transport it.

A quick email across the site secured the loan of a sturdy plastic storage box and lid. Pop the box over the top of the gull, slide the lid underneath and secure with tape. Then a five minute drive and the gull was safely delivered to the wildlife centre. They took one look and diagnosed botulism poisoning (an occupational hazard for gulls) which they are confident they can treat successfully.

So a good outcome it seems, for this bird at least. And some decent photos of one of my favourite gulls.

Lesser black-backed gull

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

Posted in water birds

The Black Gulls

The local gull population is made up predominantly of herring gulls, but we do have several other species locally. The great black backed gulls, the largest of the native gulls, tend to stay close to the coast but the lesser black backed gulls do come inland, and we’ve had two or three pairs nesting on the roofs at work. Gulls being gulls they also visit the local pond at Falmer Village, which is where I took this short sequence early today.

Lesser black-backed gull

Lesser black-backed gull

Lesser black-backed gull

Lesser black-backed gull

The lesser black-backed gull is relatively rare around here (I’ve seen plenty of them along the Thames in central London). A more numerous visitor is the small black-headed gull. They do of course frequent the coast, but they often also appear in small flocks on the Downs; and at the pond.

Black-headed gull

Yes, its head is brown, not black.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Posted in water birds, Wildlife Also tagged |

Lesser Black Backed Gull Photo Special

A short sequence taken on Friday of some of the small colony of four lesser black-backed gulls that are nesting on the roofs at the University of Brighton’s Falmer campus. The majority of gulls there are herring gulls, and the lesser black-backeds are easily overlooked. They are a similar size to herring gulls and the obvious difference is their darker wings (not quite as black as the great blacked gull). The other main distinguishing feature are their yellow legs. There are also differences around the eyes.

This first one had been rooting around in the gutters on the roof of one of the buildings. The marks on its face are not ‘distinguishing’ marks. It’s just dirty!

Lesser black-backed gull

Here’s another (cleaner) one of the group.

Lesser black-backed gull

And on the wing. Note the red ring around the eye. That is a distinguishing mark.

Lesser black-backed gull

Later in the day I spotted one of the group over at Falmer Pond. That’s a juvenile herring gull in the background of the first photo. The second image shows the yellow legs very clearly.

Lesser black-backed gull

Lesser black-backed gull

Lesser black-backed gull

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Posted in water birds