Friday, 3 February 2012


3rd February - 2 days ago there was practically no ice on the lake, today there was appreciably more ice than water.

The NE corner held the most open water and this is where the aythya flock was gathered, though I could only find Tufted Duck and Pochard and just a single Great-crested Grebe.

The gulls were gathered in small groups, with many either standing or sitting on the ice.  One group on the east side held a number of LWHG, including a 2w Yellow-legged Gull.  Even at distance it stood out, with a largely dark grey mantle and scaps; obviously dark greater coverts forming a rectangle that contrasted with much lighter median and lesser coverts; dark tertials with broad white tips and quite leggy.  It was quite a large bird, obviously larger than accompanying Lesser Black-backs.  I walked around the lake to get closer and take some record shots, but inevitably, whilst doing so, it had flown off!  In fact quite a few of the gulls had started to depart, but I noticed a Herring Gull with an orange darvic ring on its left leg.  It appeared to be marked with '1652', which would make it a FERA ringed bird from somewhere in the UK, but I am still investigating.

With 3 Great Black-backs

I counted 12 adult Great Black-backed Gulls before they started to depart.

Otherwise not much to note - Shelduck numbered 5, with 2 pairs and another male and a Common Snipe was foraging on the spit.  I've added Greenfinch and Dunnock to the yearlist, which I seem to have omitted, but definitely saw today!

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