Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Destruction, Gales and Little Gulls!

What a mad morning! Gales force Northerly winds crashed against the bedroom window all night and the sounds of helicopters back and forth kept me awake. An early morning rise to turn the school alarm off meant that an unplanned seawatch was on the cards. Five minutes later and 3 adult, 2 1st year and single 2nd year Little Gulls at Llandudno North shore got the alarm bells ringing. There had been a wreck of Gulls along the coast! Another 2 adult birds were down by the pier while a poor Kittiawake was sat on the pavement opposite the St George's Hotel. I moved it behond a wall out of the wind up by the the Orme toll house. Further along the coast things were eerily quiet with no traffic, not suprising as 20 foot waves crashed over the prom. A 1st year Little Gull at Penrhyn Bay, an adult in Rhos on Sea harbour, two more by the Eirias breakwater. It was here I started to smell diesel fumes. The draw of a glimpse of the stricken cargo ship was too much for me and I battled along the cycle path, not being able to see much for spray and rain. The boat was close up against the breakwater rocks, crashing against them over and over again. The smell of diesel was very strong. Three more Little Gulls were with the good numbers of Herring, Common, Lesser and Greater black backed Gull around the boat, this time 2 1st year and an adult bird. I fear that there is an environmental distaster on our doorstep - 40,000 litres of fuel and 30,000+ Scoter don't really mix. There are rumours of fuel leakage in the press, but the smell and info from a policeman out all night at the scene look like our worst fear is happening. Lets hope the Scoter head north before the wind turns and pushes any spillage out to sea, however that won't help the Auks, Kittiwakes and Fulmar breeding in the area. The sea is too rough to start any clean up at present. Anyone attempting to drive in this area, think again - prom is now closed at Colwyn Bay, A55 is closed in both directions and all traffic is grid locked through Colwyn Bay! Video of the boat here -
Now you see it......
Now you don't .......!
Wrecked Kittiwake by the St George's Hotel, Llandudno.
I'm still drying out my camera after attempting to take pictures of Little Gulls!
Little Gull through rain splattered lens - don't you just love their underwings!


  1. Nice shots Marc.Any sign of leaking fuel or oiled birds?

  2. Thanks for texts Marc was able to watch Little Gulls from the living room window! Also a Common Scoter in the bay that flew off west right over Llandudno town centre!

    Alan and Ruth

  3. Heard on the news they say no fuel leak but I've seen 6 gulls oiled this evening with what looked like fuel on the beach between Rhos and Old Col. Nice 1st winter Little Gull flew east off the east end of prom 7pm.
    Looks to be a wreck of star fish so lots of large gulls building up.