I mentioned a few days ago, in my post about the autumn passage of birds now getting underway, that a juvenile Little gull has recently been spending time in Cardiff Bay. As it’s such a lovely creature, I thought I’d go back and try for another look and more photos. My camera gear’s not the best so these shots aren’t the crispest you might see but I think you’ll agree this is one beautiful small gull.
The Little gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus) is perfectly named (minutus, as you might have guessed, means small, minute): in the photo below you can clearly see its petite stature in comparison to the Black-headed gulls and Feral pigeon perched near it.
According to the RSPB website, between 400-800 Little gulls over-winter in Britain but, locally, here in south Wales, they are uncommon visitors, mostly seen on passage in spring or autumn. My first-ever Little gull sighting was during this year’s spring passage, in Cardiff Bay on 10 April, but that bird spent much of its time flying around in the centre of the bay, visible only through ’scopes and binoculars.
So, it’s been especially nice that our current visitor has been flying, perching and feeding much closer to shore where I, and many other people, have been able to get a better look at it. Soon, I’m sure, it will head south to meet up with others of its kind who will spend their winter around the coastlines of the Mediterranean and western Europe. Fly well, little beauty!