Mediterranean Gull at Cheadle Hulme on 23-24th January 1979. A Species New to Greater Manchester
On the 23rd January a Mediterranean Gull was first spotted at Cheadle Hulme as it flew in with a large flock of Black-headed Gulls- the gulls approached from the direction of Adswood Tip from where they has just been disturbed by gunfire from council workmen.
The bird was an adult in winter plumage and appeared larger and stouter than the accompanying Black-headed Gulls. Mantle and wings were pale grey with conspicuous white primaries; in flight the white underwing was also noticeable; bill was heavy, orange rather than red, with a greyish band near the tip; head was white with a few dark streaks on the crown and there was a dark patch extending back from the eye over the ear coverts.
The following day the bird was again seen at Cheadle Hulme as it scavenged with other gulls at dustbins in an area that is a regular winter food source for the Black-headed Gulls. Earlier in the month an adult Mediterranean Gull had also been seen at Sandbach Flashes in Cheshire.
I particularly included this article given the current status of Mediterranean Gull both in Greater Manchester and throughout the north-west of England. How times have changed since 1979! - Ian