Tuesday 25 April 2017

Audouin's Gull

Any birder visiting Mallorca has to record Audouin's Gull (Ichthyaetus audouinii) which is a large gull restricted to the Mediterranean, the western coast of Saharan Africa and the Iberian peninsula and is named after the French naturalist Jean Victoire Audouin.

In the late 1960s, this was one of the world's rarest gulls, with a population of only 1,000 pairs. It has established new colonies, but remains rare with a population of about 10,000 pairs. The books say that, unlike many large gulls, it rarely scavenges, but is a specialist fish eater, and is therefore strictly coastal and pelagic. Well that's a bit odd as everyone knows that the birds are happy to accept food from the sunbathing tourists on the beach. So, after a brief rain shower that cleared the beach at Port de Pollenca, Martin and I, armed with some bread rolls, tempted a few into close range.




Spot the bread roll

Numbers are increasing