Sunday, February 05, 2012

Larid Fest.....

3rd Calendar year Iceland Gull.

North Wall,Cleethorpes.
Well what a day today,after braving the arctic conditions Chris and myself headed for the Humber in search of the reported white wingers and we were not disappointed.First to be seen was Graham's 2nd calendar year Kumliens Gull and it gave stunning views as it fed on discarded fish scraps allowing us to study the birds salient features at very close range,what a cracker!.It came and went several times while we were on site and gave us a great chance to acquaint ourselves with this Canadian Arctic waif.Also seen from the same breeding area as the Kumliens, was the gorgeous 3rd calendar year Iceland Gull which has been present for at least a couple of weeks now.It also showed very well and gave equally stunning views,also coming down to fish scraps and was tamer than the Kumliens,being much bolder than its cousin,a beauty of a gull.One noticeable difference between the two birds,other than plumage differences was the fact that the Kumliens was far more aggressive,watched attacking and pecking every gull that came too close,a little brute,but survival is the key in the Gull world.To complete the list of 'White wingers' for the day,a single adult Med Gull was seen on a couple of occasions,also giving some nice views,but it kept its distance from the gull melee.A bonus species which did a quick flypast and back onto the Humber,was a smart 2nd calendar year Little Gull,my first record of this species for some years in winter and a nice surprise!.Also seen,were a couple of 2nd calendar year Common Gull with retarded moult,possibly indicating they may be one of the other races occurring in Europe as these birds moult later and a colour ringed adult,P7V8 which has been colour ringed in Estonia.The only other notable sightings were a flock of 22 Dark-bellied Brent Geese feeding off the North Wall along with 7 Goldeneye moving west.A superb days gull watching.

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