• Claire Stott


WARNING: Graphic content

As storm ciara swept across the UK, bringing with her gale force winds and lashing rain we at least were able to cosy up indoors in safety and warmth. But spare a thought for all the wildlife who had no choice but to tough it out and battle the conditions.

As the storm finally began to subside today I headed out during a brief window of sunshine to check on ‘the patch’ and it’s inhabitants.

The high winds combined with recent spring tides had left the area strewn with debris from tiny pieces of vegetation to large branches and even an uprooted tree carried downstream. Among the mountains of flotsam was the inevitable scattering of plastic waste and litter and as I began to collect some of these pieces to throw in the bin, I soon discovered that the storm had claimed it’s victims.

Unlike the large herring gulls, who appear to almost relish the conditions, soaring effortlessly on updrafts of wind, it appears that the storm was too much for the much smaller, black headed gulls. Several of these delicate white birds now lay battered and broken on the shore.

I apologise if these images are distressing but I do feel it is important to document all sides of nature, not just the cute and fluffy bits!

Fortunately I was able to get a few images of these black-headed gulls a few weeks ago which reflects their true beauty.

Fortunately most birds do appear to have weathered the storm without harm, and some may even come to benefit from it now that conditions have settled.

Birds like this pied wagtail now take advantage of the abundance of tiny prey washed to within easy reach among the debris.

Ever the opportunists, this young herring gulls also found itself a tasty treat among the tangle of twigs and branches.

This jackdaw and rock pipit also joined the clean up operation.

— All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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#wildlife #birdwatching #outdoors #gulls #winter #storm #seabirds #stormyweather #wind #ornithology #birdphotography #stormciara #nature #weather #blackheadedgulls #seasons

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