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GBB Gulls hunting Wigeon (1 Viewer)

Ausable Bird Observatory

Registered Member
Yesterday whilst birdwatching up on the Ribble Estuary north of Southport, I witnessed a Great Black-backed Gull hunting Wigeon. I was pretty suprised/impressed!

Ron Jackson later told me that he had seen it on anumber of occasions at Marshside and on the Ribble.

Has anyone else ever witnessed this?

Peter Fearon
 

saluki

Well-known member
Ausable Bird Observatory said:
Yesterday whilst birdwatching up on the Ribble Estuary north of Southport, I witnessed a Great Black-backed Gull hunting Wigeon. I was pretty suprised/impressed!

Ron Jackson later told me that he had seen it on anumber of occasions at Marshside and on the Ribble.

Has anyone else ever witnessed this?

Peter Fearon
Hi Peter,

There are several GBBs at Marshside that seem particularly adept at hunting duck, they create more panic amongst the wildfowl there than I've witnessed anywhere else. They'll also hunt waterhens at times. Last autumn we watched one trying to catch a fully-grown juv. shelduck, which had to repeatedly dive to avoid it. Enventually, the gull seemed to get bored and gave up - if it had persisted much longer I'm sure it would have caught it as the shelduck was becoming exhausted.

Go to Sandgrounders hide and scope the large pool to the left of the field, the GBB's in question usually hang around there. They'll regularly lift and quarter the fields, panicking the wigeon, etc - quite spectacular!

Jonathan
 

Fred Fearn

Cheshire Birder
Back in the late 80's during a big freeze (remember them?), I witnessed a similar thing. Several thousand wildfowl were keeping a section of water open, but were obviously quite weakened by the conditions, which had lasted some time. GBB Gulls would circle the flock and swoop down to grab a weakened bird (mostly ruddy ducks), lifting them up to 20feet or so before dropping them onto the ice to kill them. They would then land by the victim and consume.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
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