Friday 12 November 2010

Glonk Makes It 17

This morning I was going to have a gander at the American Robin, after I'd enjoyed a rare lie-in. So up I got at 08:30, saw that the Robin was still there thanks to a couple of received text messages, had breakfast, then headed out the door.... to the sea front!

Yes, for some reason I decided NOT to go to Exminster, but chose to have a look around the patch instead (as per usual!). Am bloody glad I did though, as after a rather uneventful sea watch, I had a look up the Estuary and this was the first Gull flock I came across...

Click on the photo to make it bigger - and see if you can spot the 'odd one out'. If you can't, I'll post directions to the opticians later ;-)

Yes - there sat a stonking first-winter Glaucous Gull! THIS stonking first-winter Glaucous Gull...

OH MY WORD - what a BEAST! Lock up your children - they just aren't safe with this brute around!!

You would not believe how over-joyed I was/am. Glauc is my favourite of all the large Gulls, and it is my biggest 'boggy bird' on my self-found list.... sorry, was! Wryneck now has that accolade.

What made it even better in a 'self-found' context is that this Glauc represents the 17th species of Gull I have found on the Axe since 2007. Hmmmmm, I wonder what will be next... Great Black-headed please :-)

Ian M saw it as it flew out of the Estuary and westwards, but unfortunately no one else got to it. Hopefully it lingers - it is about time we hand one hanging about. These weather conditions yet again prove to be our best for Gulls - blustery winds with some south in it, low cloud and rain.

There's a rather amusing note to add to this find... I first clapped eye on the Glonk through bins whilst sat in the car. In the excitable few moments that followed I jumped out the car without doing something. It was only when I was knelt on the ground looking at the bird through my scope, with one hand leaning on the back of my car that I realised this... car started to roll forward, OH CRAP - handbrake! Luckily, I was able to lean in the open window of the passanger door and pull it up!

As for the American Robin, what a stunning bird it is, check out Karens pics of it HERE! A cracking county record - the first 'confirmed' mainland sighting in fact. Lundy has had all three of the previous Devon birds. If it stays in to next week I will trek over and see it, but I'm not in an urgent rush as I saw the Cornwall bird in 2004. Like this bird, that was a smart thing too!

In fact that was one of my 'top three' twitches of all time, because we also connected with (how's that for 'twitcher jargon'): American Wigeon, Green-winged Teal, Surf Scoter, Ring-billed Gull, Lesser Yellowlegs, and on the way back, Devon's first Lesser Scaup (which funnily enough was at Exminster Marshes!)


  1. if its a lunchtime trip, pik me up in Honiton :-)

  2. Nice Steve!

    Living by the sea is the best, isn't it. Had two Glauc finds this week including one over the garden - how happy was I!

    And you nearly had a great tale to tell with the car running away...

  3. Cheers Tim!!!

    When me and the mrs look for a place to live, I want just one be no more than five miles away from sea!

    Well done with your Glaucs :-)