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Saturday 18 July 2015

18th July – Mediterranean Gull

Tony Taylor and Chris & Mandy Dee saw an adult Mediterranean Gull flying around the Landing Bay just after they had boarded MS Oldenburg for the journey back to Bideford this evening (Saturday 18th July). Remarkably, this is only the second record of Med Gull for Lundy, with the first as long ago as August 1978! Incidentally, one of the observers those 37 years ago was... Tony Taylor! Although Mediterranean Gulls have become such a regular feature of mainland birding in recent years, including here in North Devon, where three-digit counts were made in 2014, this has not so far been reflected on Lundy; perhaps in part because relatively few birders visit the island during late summer, but that is not the whole story. Black-headed Gulls, with which Med Gulls commonly associate, have always been scarce on Lundy in spite of their abundance on the nearby mainland, so perhaps it is more the case that both species are very much birds of inshore waters, only passing Lundy in very small numbers from time to time. Whatever, this is a remarkable record, not least because it seems so long overdue. Will it mark the opening of the floodgates, or will we wait until 2052 for the next one?!

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