Saturday, December 21, 2013

Arctic Beauty.....

After a very long week of 12 hour shifts and a nail biting wait to see if the Juvenile Ivory Gull was still present at the unbelievable venue of Patrington Haven on the Humber Estuary,that is where i headed bright and early this morning.I arrived early on site as i knew the parking was going to be restricted after seeing a Sharp-tailed Sand here in 2008 and after meeting fellow Suffolk birders Baz and John we made our way down to the Haven to look for this stunner.As it began to get light properly and as we arrived at the pumping station from where the bird had been seen from,it suddenly appeared overhead,did a couple of circuits and duly landed right infront of us.What a cracking bird it was and we watched it as it fed on fish which some birders had brought to feed it.A lot of controversy has been spoken about the artificial feeding of this bird,but if it didn't want to feed here it would soon fly off elsewhere.After about ten minutes,it decided it had eaten enough and flew back onto the Estuary to rest.It flew around several times and rested at several places,before again flying back to feed,this time in much better light.It spent longer this time feeding and drinking and gave more fantastic close views.It really was great recompense after missing the duo at Seahouses and we couldn't have asked for closer views of this great bird.After about twenty minutes it was off again and this was repeated once more before i left for home.Other highlights seen during the visit included a trio of Peregrines,Merlin and brief views of a Male Hen Harrier last thing,as Karen,Simon and myself walked back to the car.Also seen was the fantastic sight of roosting waders at high tide with thousands of Knot,Lapwing,Grey Plover,Dunlin,Oystercatchers,Curlew and Bar Wits.A small flock of 15 D.b.Brents and 5 Pintail were the wildfowl highlights along with Teal,Mallard and Wigeon.A superb day was enjoyed today seeing this fantastic arctic Gull and was the first sighting of this species for myself and the first in Yorkshire since one at Saltburn,north of Whitby in 1986.


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