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I really enjoy the excitement of beginning each new year’s patch bird list, walking miles (I’ve clocked up my first hundred today), checking out locations I’ve come to know much more intimately during the last two years of enforced restrictions on movement (one of the few positives of this pandemic has been learning my local area more thoroughly), finding the less common birds that often elude me. And the latter includes this stunning Common gull (Larus canus), number 76 on my 2022 list.

220117 common gull (1)

It was on the lakeside boardwalk at Cosmeston Lakes, feeding with the Black-headed gulls on seed that had been sprinkled by an earlier passer-by. My approach caused the birds to move back to the water, but not far away. I took a few photos, then sprinkled some seed of my own to encourage the birds back to the boardwalk, which worked a treat.

220117 common gull (2)