Tuesday, 7 February 2012

And Another White Winger!

7th February - I was hoping to find some interesting wildfowl today brought in by the recent cold weather.  However, on arrival at the lake, I could see that it was pretty much iced over, although it was thawing and had a slushy look to it.  Had there been any ducks, I'm sure they could have made some open patches of water, but they had obviously been forced off over the weekend.

As it was, I just had several groups of gulls to look through that were standing on the ice.  These were predominantly Black-headed Gulls, with a few Commons and only 20 or so LWHG, so very little!  I was tempted to leave, when another scan through the gulls at about 10:30am found a lovely 1st winter Glaucous Gull standing on the spit in front of the island - it had obviously just flown in!  It stayed on the spit for a while before making a short flight to a small group of LWHG standing on the ice a few yards to the south.  Here it remained for about half an hour, then made the short flight back to the spit, which enabled Dave P to see it.  A further 5 - 10 minutes elapsed when the small group of gulls the Glauc was with spooked and flew.  They flew around the back of the island and I thought they might land again, but instead they circled upwards gaining height and the Glauc and a couple of other LWHG departed to the west, parallel to the Thames.  I was expecting it to fly NE towards Hedgerley, so where it was heading I don't know.  It was interesting to note that when in flight, the Glauc, despite its large size was harried a few times by the other gulls.  Unfortunately, Mike and Rose C arrived just a few minutes too late - I was also attempting to borrow Rose's 50x scope to read the white(ish) darvic ring that one of the Herring Gulls had on its right leg, but that decided to take that moment to depart too!

Glaucous Gull is another patch tick, so an excellent morning!

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