Tuesday 28 January 2014

Finally A Bird Worthy Of A Blog Post

Just after I completed my once a month woodland bird survey near Colyton this morning (where I had my highest count of Woodcock this winter, four), the phone rang - it was Dad; "Glaucous Gull on the Estuary from Seaton Marshes hide".  Ten minutes later I pulled up alongside the river and was greeted by this...

Not exactly hard to pick out!

I even dusted off my digi-scoping Nikon, although sadly I had it on the wrong setting for the whole time so the pics are far from perfect...

What a beast!

As you can see it's a really pale one. When I first clapped eyes on it I was sure it was going to be a second-winter, but the lack of a pink-tipped bill and the dark eyes make this a first-winter (or more correctly, a second calender year) bird.  Although it does look pure white in the photos, in the field you could see very feint barring on the coverts.

I think there's a good chance it's the bird seen on the Exe Estuary recently, featured on Matt's blog HERE and HERE.  If it is, Dad saw this bird ten days ago from the Stuart Line Cruise on the Exe Estuary!

Sadly it didn't hang about, and just before Sue Smith pulled up, it took off and flew south towards the sea.

I had a further two checks of the Estuary after this white-winged excitement, but three Med (two ad and a 1st winter) and good numbers of Common Gulls were the only other blog-worthy sightings. There was this large Gull though, that made me lunge for my scope as in profile it showed a very Caspian Gull-like head and bill and showed obviously pale and seemingly quite plain greater coverts...

It doesn't look much in this picture, but it looked quite striking in the field
Sadly that is where any Caspian similarities ended.

Hopefully the next blog post won't be so far away...

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