Wednesday 29 February 2012

Just Can't Get Enough

Richmond Bank is a drug and I'm addicted! Another session today and a slight improvement.
5 Iceland Gulls were logged made up of 2 adults, 2 juv/1w and a probable 2w only seen in flight.

Yellow-legged Gulls seemed to be in short supply with only the odd one at any one time. In total 7 were seen, 6 adults and a nice 4w (below).

Either the same as yesterday or a different yellow legged argenteus Herring Gull was present.

The hybrid LBBxHerring was present most of the day as was this big ugly Herring Gull. Noted on this bird was its quite long legs though not particularly thin, its dark eye and long bill, though not very Caspian like. Also its mantle was a shade or 2 darker than other present Herrings. Another hybrid? Or just a big ugly Herring Gull?

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Head Scratcher

No work, again. So more hours spent sifting through the gulls at Richmond Bank. Again like yesterday numbers were low and it showed. Most numerous of the scarce gulls were Yellow-legged Gulls with 6 adults logged, including an absolutely cracking (presumably) male with day glow yellow/orange legs. They don't get much better.

After yesterdays 5 Iceland Gulls we could only muster 1 today. A pretty bog standard 1w.

As is usual with the numbers of gulls on show there is always some intriguing ones. The bird below was structurally good for Lesser Black-backed Gull though the mantle colour was all wrong as were its pink legs. Long primary projection looks ok for LBB as does the 5 visible primary tips. Also noted was the fact it was displaying to a Herring Gull and getting quite amorous. Its mate is in the 2nd photo to the right, looking left. Is it a Hybrid? Possibly LBBxHerring?
Comments would be welcomed.

 Also noted was a Yellow legged Argenteus Herring Gull (the one calling).

Monday 27 February 2012

More Gulls

A few more hours down at Richmond Bank in perfect light today, just a shame the numbers weren't higher. 5 Iceland Gulls were logged, 4 2nd winter birds and an adult. My battery died before i could photograph the 5th.

3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls were also on show with 1 present with an Iceland Gull in the 2nd photo. The photos below illustrate the them quite nicely next to a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

The Usual Suspects

The best part of 6 hours spent at Richmond Bank today. As usual 1000's of gulls on show with 3x 2w Iceland Gulls and 10+ adult Yellow-legged Gulls including a 4w bird.

A few of the more obscure gulls on show today.

 This very pale billed and pale eyed Herring Gull.

 A pink legged Lesser Black-backed Gull? Possibly 4w?

An absolute brute of a 2w Herring Gull. 
I did wonder with that bill if any Glaucous genes could be at work?
Probably not.

And another pale Herring Gull with brown primaries.

Friday 17 February 2012

Top Trio

After putting it off i decided to make the trip to Hampshire for the Sparrow/Junco double. Working all week in Redditch it wasn't so bad making the journey south, almost a lie in! Arriving at the Spanish Sparrow site in Calshot just before 8am and already somebody searching. It wasn't long before it was picked up showing well and constantly singing, loudly. Quite smart for a Sparrow i guess.

From there it was a short journey through the New Forrest to Beaulieu for the Dark-eyed Junco. Again, it showed well to the assembled crowd of 3.

The bonus bird of the day was the Common Yellowthroat that was discovered in Gwent the day previous. Hardly a detour on the way home and i arrived on site just after midday. Good to see Matt Meehan again, helping with the site running. A good search for about 90 minutes until it was actually pinned down, no views on the deck just flight views through the bins. To be fair it could have been a canary (as Dougie mentioned) but fortunately no canaries were reported. Would love to say a really smart bird but i cant, others have photos to prove it is.

Tuesday 7 February 2012


I am going to work tomorrow, honest. A few more hours down at Richmond Bank late morning/early afternoon. No white-wing gulls at all today but 7 adult Yellow-legged Gulls were logged within the 10-15000 strong flock.

Best of the 1000's on show was this pristine adult Caspian Gull. A classic looking bird with the full suite of characteristics on show. After having so many negatives it was such a relief to find this individual. A stonker.

Monday 6 February 2012

Great Legs!

After a mornings work spent a very pleasant few hours over at Richmond Bank. After the last week of freezing temperatures it felt spring like in the sunshine and the gulls responded well to the thaw with thousands on show.

5 Adult Yellow-legged Gulls were picked out with the large male below being the pick of the bunch. This place must be the premier spot in the north for this species of gull, they are always readily available.

I thought i was going to go the afternoon without seeing an Iceland Gull then this 1w dully arrived 20 minutes before leaving. Though a poor show for this otherwise reliable gull.

Also present was another intriguing gull? Hopefully more later.

Saturday 4 February 2012

Cuppa Coffee Gull

Spent the morning down at Richmond Bank before the snow started to fall. Plenty of gulls with a 2w Iceland Gull present all morning and a small adult Yellow-legged Gull for the last hour. The 'best' gull was an intruiging 1w present for 20 minutes early on. A very striking gull in appearance as it very uniform in colour, i would say a coffee colour with what looked like lines or bars running across the wing coverts giving it a standout look from other 1w Herring Gulls. Head shape was nice and rounded with a small dark eye and an all dark bill. Primaries and tertials were a darker brown with neat pale edges, the tail band was fairly dark and the uppertail coverts and rump were lighter with darker patterning. Unfortunately the bird was distant so armed with my iPhone i did the best i could. I doubt much can be taken from the photos or video but certainly worth keeping an eye out for. What with the white wing influx and a Thayer's in Eire you never know!

Thursday 2 February 2012

Another Pale Gull

A day off so decided on a trip over to Stubber's Green in the West Midlands. On the way i called into Sandbach to see if the Ibis was performing in the sun? It wasn't.
Just over 4 hours was spent at Stubber's Green with gulls coming and going all the time but no Caspian today. The sub-adult Iceland Gull was present all afternoon, is it a 3w/4cy bird? Not sure.

Also present for most of the afternoon was this pale 1w Herring type Gull. A rather robust bird which had a few 2nd generation scapulars coming through. A strikingly obvious bird with white inner primaries and dark ghosting to the tips. Is it a hybrid? Just a pale Herring Gull? Or something else? Kumlien's maybe? Gull's, don't you just love em.