Sunday, 25 January 2009

Birds of Leabank Square - Seagulls

Today is National Birdwatch day - and there have been quite a few fantastic suggestions we do a few entries about what birds (& other wildlife) we have in Leabank Square.

This is a great idea - especially as the numbers of some species are dwindling - not helped by the fact that all the trees we planted across the canal have been felled. But we had some promising conversations with some of the Olympic suits at last weeks community meeting - so watch this space.

In the meantime - this is the first of the Birds of Leabank Square series - and it's the second most common bird here - after pigeons of course!!

Come & take a seat up on the river bank anytime, and toss a few crumbs into the water - and these seagulls appear out of nowhere!! They must be hovering up high - just waiting for some tiny morsel to be thrown out for them.

We are really not that far from the Thames - where there are thousands of seagulls - but someone suggests that these particular ones are from the massive waste tip at Buckingham Road in Leyton - about 400 meters from the canal.

Wherever they're from - they behave just as aggressively as all seagulls around the world - scrapping over any bit of food they happen to see. In fact - I'm not too sure if these are seagulls exactly - because they're a bit smaller than there cousins on the coast - but they do bring a lot of life and amusement to a coffee by the canal!!


Geoffrey said...

Hey Sóna

Great feature man! It makes a nice change from us always talking about the ODA bunch? Are you okay about how they treated you by the way?

I saw a couple of robins over at our block yesterday - and I think they're meant to be a bit territorial, so maybe they're the only 2 hereabouts?

Anyhow - I'll keep the cameraphone handy in case they get closer for a pic.


Matt said...

Hi Sóna
I love this entry! We have got to encourage more biodiversity into Leabank Square Dude. How about building a loggery with those MASSIVE logs we can't get up the stairs onto the riverbank?

Maybe just in a couple of corners of the green - so that we can get more insects moving in, then more hedgehogs in, then maybe an elephant or two....

Seriously Dude, the more places we give animals of all sizes to hide, the more birds we'll get nesting here.

Anonymous said...

Not too detailed pix but they look like black-headed gulls, by far the commonest in Victoria Park (the area of black on the head shrinks to a black spot behind the ears at this time of year).

Common gulls are about one hundredth the frequency of black-headed gulls in VP, a bit bigger and tougher looking, with flashes of white on black at the tips of the wings.

There's often a single lesser black-backed gull around (with a black back) that's a fair bit larger and rather more stolid.

And occasionally there's a herring gull, in between in size with a yellow beak with a red spot.

The spotty browny ones are young ones that haven't got their adult plumage.

And every summer on the West side of VP we get a single common tern, that's a beautifully graceful bird that just flies through every day following the line of the canal but does an occasional sudden tumbling routine to show off as it comes past.

Should be lots of good bird-watching books in the library!