Friday 18 March 2016

A Peregrine shakes up the gull flocks

A schedule change at work meant I had some time to visit the Yamatogawa in Osaka to check out the gulls yesterday. I used to spend all my free time gulling on the Yamatogawa but this was my first trip this winter and I was delighted to see how many gulls were present. I didn't have my scope with me, just bins and camera, so I was a little disadvantaged checking out the flocks on the river and I wonder how many things might have got away while I was struggling to slowly sift through the bathing and loafing groups.

A case in point is (Pacific) Black-legged Kittiwake; I heard a kittiwake call and looked up to see two birds overhead that gradually gained height and disappeared. I've only ever recorded a couple of Kittwakes here so this doubled my tally for the site! However later as I was going through the many shots of gulls I took, there was a Kittiwake dropping in behind the gull I was photographing.

Peregrines aren't uncommon dropping onto the river, they come down to bathe rather than deliberately terrify the gulls but they certainly shake things up nevertheless.

Once the Peregrine had put up all the gulls, evaded those that weren't too happy about the intrusion and bathed it flew straight out without giving the gulls a backward glance.

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