Large numbers of birds seen on North Meadow today. North Meadow has been flooded since mid October last year, almost 4 months. The water level has started to drop over the last few days. Hopefully this will continue to fall in time for the Snakes Head Fritillary season in April.
The falling water level often attracts many birds and this morning there were several large flocks of Black Headed Gulls, probably several hundred birds in total. The picture taken this morning shows two Black Headed Gulls in their winter plumage, a mainly white head with a dark ear spot. The head becomes black in summer as their name suggests. The red legs and bill can also be seen which is a distinctive character of this species.
North Meadow has several resident Mute Swans which have in previous years bred in Frogsham adjacent to North Meadow. This pair were seen this morning just before they flew to the other side of the meadow.
They take some time to get into the air but always look very graceful as they paddle furiously and flap their wings.
Other birds seen on North Meadow this morning were a pair Grey Heron fishing in Prior’s Ham and a Little Egret close to the willows on the boundary with Frogsham. It is very likely that other species would be found with a good pair of binoculars and more time.