Sunday, 22 February 2009

Then There Were Three

It was my Sunday to work today, so was stuck in Co-op from 06:30 - 16:30! I was always planning a sweep of the estuary after I had finished. My Sunday roast was due to be served up at 17:30, giving me an hour.

Shortly before 16:00 a text came through from Gav informing me of a couple of
Iceland Gulls again on the estuary. News like this would normally encourage me to change my plans, as the Gulls would have already received a good grilling, but for some reason today it did not...

As I got round to the river nearly all the Gulls were gathered on the lower estuary where the only mud was showing. As I pulled up half these Gulls got up and flew out to sea - bad start! When the ones that didn't fly away settled I started my scan through, and soon enough located the two
Iceland Gulls. They were the usual two.

The dark one...

He spent a lot of time with his left eye shut, hope he's OK

The pale one with small dark loral spot...

Seems to be looking even paler now!

Looking up the estuary there was very little, but I did notice a few Gulls that had flown down the valley and landed on a small margin of mud near Coronation Corner. So up here I drove, and the first Gull I looked at was an Iceland Gull! WOW - THREE! An Axe record! Here it is...

Slightly out of focus I'm afraid - number three never-the-less!

It took off and landed a little further south, the light was rubbish but I still fired off a few shots...

Is this what they call atmospheric.... or is it just cr*p?

This one is noticeably darker than the pale one, but at the same time noticeably paler than the dark one.... so I shall name it 'the intermediate one' - original hey? Note how different the head is compared with the pale one, overall much more patterned with a distinctive dark dot below its ear coverts.

It took off and flew down river, joining the dark one
. But where was the pale one? After a good scan I found it. This is surely another Axe photo first.....

I've said "showing near tram sheds" a lot, but never ON the tram sheds!!! Also is this the first picture of an Iceland Gull on the Axe in front of a tree??

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