Monday, 1 February 2016


30th January - Marek W had seen a juvenile Glaucous Gull roost at his patch at Sonning Eye in South Oxon on the 23rd January.  Later in the week what was presumably the same bird was seen at Knowl Hill tip in East Berkshire.  Both these sites are fairly close to my patch as the gull flies, but what interested me, was that my only Glaucous Gull to date on patch was seen in early 2012 after having been seen originally at Knowl Hill tip.  With this in mind, I made my earliest possible visit to see the gull roost, which happened to be Saturday 30th.  I pitched up around 3:30pm and found Pete S, Mick M and Kevin H already on site around the western bench.  I set about scanning the gulls.  At about 4:15pm, my scope fell on a gull on the far side of the pit swimming directly towards me.  It appeared dark biscuity coloured and had a striking pale pink bill with dark tip and from what I could see, this looked like a juvenile Glaucous Gull.  I let the others know and continued to watch as it swam closer and then eventually turned enough to reveal pale primaries - Get in! I had come hoping to find a Glaucous Gull and now here it was!  The bird then flew a short distance to the front of the island revealing strikingly white primaries, however, this was generally quite a dark looking Glauc.  It looked a little larger than the surrounding Herring Gulls, but not as big as some and I surmised that it was probably a female.

I grabbed some grotty record shots on my phone as the light faded and also took a short video which shows it slightly better before other gulls pile in around it.

Showing overall body colour, bill colour and pale primaries

Pale primaries visible

Pale primaries, body colour and bill colour visible
The video is here

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