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Monday, 21 December 2020

A Gigantic Glauc

Been over a month since my last blog post, and a lot has happened within the local birding scene in that time...

Best of all without doubt being a stunning first-winter, well technically juvenile, Glaucous Gull found by Clive on the Estuary on 5th.  It's arrival during not typical big gull weather here, along with the fact it remained on the Estuary for a good few hours, had me hopeful it would linger as I wasn't able to see it at the time.  And gladly it did, although it is proving very erratic in its appearance.  It was next seen on 9th when it was viewable for basically the whole afternoon, but I didn't see it until 19th when Clive once again picked it up mid morning.  

My views weren't the best, but what an absolute unit...




We are so lucky this striking and stunning gull has decided to call the Axe it's home for the time being. It's only my fourth Glauc ever on the Axe, my first since January 2014! Yes I have missed a few in the time I've birded here, but they are far more infrequent than Iceland Gulls, of which I have seen around seventeen (including three together!).

If I had to rank my Glaucous Gulls on the Axe, this one comes in a very close second to the only other Glauc I've seen in the second-winter period of the year (12th Nov 2010). White-winged gulls usually appear here in the first five months of the year, very rarely in the last seven.

Considering what's been going on in the rest of the country, we have been on high alert for unusual geese.  We've had some, just not quite the species anyone was really hoping for!  On 1st December three Egyptian Geese spent a short while on Bridge Marsh...



And for several weeks now, a group of seven Greylag Geese have been in the valley...



Note the pale one...  



An individual which allows us to place this flock as being at West Bay (near Bridport) on 26th November...



It's been nice to have a lingering Marsh Harrier too, a first-winter bird that can often be seen hunting over Colyford Marsh. It's been with us for over a month now.  Up to three Cattle Egrets seem to be wintering with us too, although are often only seen around dawn and dusk.  Black Restarts have been more sporadic in their appearance here this winter, although there are at least four different individuals wintering in Seaton. I've only managed to see the male once though, on 21st November...



Been all about the Glauc for me though. What. A. Bird.

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