Thursday, 9 February 2012

Frustrated by a Ringer

Today proved to be another great day. Obvious highlight (all ten seconds of it!) was a splendid adult Ring-billed Gull at Dogsthorpe Tip. I picked up this bird by it's head (not literally) at 12:50, sticking out of a mass of Black-headed Gulls gathered on the eastern slope of the tip. Unfortunately, about ten seconds later, the entire flock got up and flew around a bit before settling and, despite Brian Stone and John Saunders joining me, we couldn't relocate the bird by 14:45.

The gulls were really flighty and simply didn't stay still today. Along with the Ringer, this was epitomized by Brian picking up at 1w Med when stood next to me for all of a few seconds before being lost in the melee once more. Realistically, I think there is a good chance that the Ringer could be seen again if it continues to visit the tip, as the gulls are usually much better-behaved than they were today and generally sit still for much longer.

Other interest today was provided by a brief first-winter Caspian Gull which looks to be different to the three seen on Tuesday (one of which was seen again yesterday), making it the ninth bird since Saturday. It is quite small and slender-billed, with pale greater coverts and a rather diffuse (worn) pattern on the upperparts:

I also had two third-winter Yellow-legged Gulls, one of which is below. Michs are usually pretty rare in our area in winter, although there seem to be quite a few around at the moment (I've had at least six over the past week or two).

At Tallington, I had a drake aythya hybrid which turned out to be a bird I had previously seen at BLGP in Feb-Apr 2009; just shows how faithful these things can be to specific areas winter after winter! Also there was a 1w European White-front - one of the Langtoft birds relocating.

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