A real seagull at Eccleston Mere

After a tip-off from Damian via Colin I get dressed sharpish (lazy SUnday mornings are mandatory in my house!) and headed out to Eccleston Mere to spy and hopefully photograph a kittiwake.
Kittiwakes usually spend the winter out at sea but all this recent awful weather can drive seabirds miles off-track and in some unfortunate cases even leave them far from home with no food.   Worse still if the weather is really bad many a seabird can be found washed up dead along the coast :(
This bird thankfully is not too far from the coast and at one point even came to food when one of the local anglers was baiting the water ...... fingers crossed it remains in good shape, gets to the nearest breeding colony, gets into breeding condition and finds at mate.
Sadly the story does not end their though as kittiwakes are suffering immesely at breeding sites due to reduced numbers of their favourite food - sand eels.  The decline in sand eels is linked to climate change, a warming of the seas has hugely disrupted their breeding patterns.  In some cases kittiwake parents can't find enough food to feed their chicks or bring back the wrong food - either way the chicks die from starvation.  All this is exacerbated by overfishing too.
All is not lost though as you can do something to help many of our conservation organisations have put huge amounts of effort into protecting our sealife and were succesful in helping to push through new laws to create a network of marine proteced areas.  However, this is just the beginning, the fight to protect as many areas as possible given all the threats from interested parties most recently and notable fracking.
Simply by checking out these links and comitting a bit of time to read up on the facts (see http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/policy/marine/ and http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/sealife/index.aspx) you can help protect our internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds and marine wildlife.  If you want to go that bit further you can always support an organisation such as the RSPB or Wildlife Trusts (for the former please see me :) )
So hopefully in the future we can turn the corner and see our seabird numbers go upwards (and maybe even make sightings like this one more common)
Paul B


  1. I scoured through the millions(!) of black headed gulls today but no sign of the kittiwake - I'm gutted to have missed it, damn work!


  2. Hi Damian,

    It did take a bit of finding as there were masses of gulls though it did help when they all moved when some food came out of the bag ....

    Paul B