Saturday, 18 February 2012

Iceland Gull

I decided to visit a little earlier than usual to beat the forecast rain (It's now 10.30am and it still hasn't got here), and this decision has paid off in spades. To cut to the chase, at around 09.00am I was approaching the dragonfly pond area near Netherstead Farm and about to head home when a large white bird appeared from below a slight ridge to my right. It was so white that my first thought was Mute Swan, but when I looked at it I realised it was a large Gull. Bloody hell! I watched as it languidly drifted and flapped to the south-west. I knew I needed to get a size estimate and scanning a little left got onto a Herring Gull, similar size. What age was it? I thought I could make out a hint of brown on the body, so not an adult, but it was so pale so perhaps a 2nd winter. By now it was somewhat distant but was catching up with four LBB Gulls, still about the same size. I decided it must be one of the Iceland Gulls currently visiting Throckmorton Tip about 15 miles to the south-west. I assembled my scope and looked again, but it had gone.


Iceland Gull

The elation I felt was tempered by the views being less than ideal and the fact that I was alone. Its always better to share good birds. Earlier I had located the Tawny Owl in its favoured tree, so that's two year ticks today. I couldn't see Mike's Little Owl, but the Dunlin, Curlew, and Green Sandpiper were still here. I thought the Dunlin looked longer billed than the one two weekends ago (I actually felt it necessary to see its rump in flight just in case) , although the Curlew should be the same one. I counted 161 Teal and 276 Lapwings. Another good thing was that the main pool is starting to fill up.

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