Thursday, 4 February 2016

Added a few more

The Safari has been listening to a Song Thrush (Garden #19) singing nearby before the first light of dawn. Great to hear, we assume (never do that!) it's in the Golden Triangle somewhere we've not been for a long time now.
Setting off to work our first Black Headed Gull of the year flew over (Garden #20).
At work Patch 2 was very poor, there was very little about. Later in the morning we started having horrendous IT problems so an early lunch was the only option. Yesterday the Iceland Gull (aka the Posh Gull) was found at the nature reserve by Young Un AB - where has it been hiding all winter, not round here that's for sure, somewhere else has had the pleasure of its company. We had a hunch that it would be at its favourite morning haunt - the nearby waste depot, where else?
We parked up on the roadside wound down the window and watched through the railings of the depot. There was a good number of gulls, mostly Herring and Black Headed Gulls, going in and out of the shed to investigate the new rubbish brought in by the wagons. We thought we saw a paler one fly into the shed amid the throng and looking deep into the gloom there was the Iceland Gull (99) half way up the pile of rancid bin bags with its head buried in one of them, not the best of view but hey they all count. The bulldozer stopped work for the driver's lunch and all the gulls flew out of the shed and up onto the roof but we didn't see the Posh Gull again. 
Back at the office we were told the IT was still playing up so we took the opportunity of grabbing the scope and having a quick look at the sea. There we found a 1st winter Little Gull almost straight away which was a bit of a surprise as the fierce wind of recent days had died down. It was with a few Black Headed Gulls on the beach, they were catching worms at the water's edge but the Little Gull was just resting. We looked at another gaggle of gulls to see nothing of note, looking back the Little Gull had now done a bunk, we couldn't find it anywhere neither on the beach nor out over the sea. 
Checking the other flocks we found a Scandinavian Herring Gull looking all big, dark and brutal against the 'normal' argenteus birds.
BD came along but just before he arrived all the gulls and Oystercatchers were flushed by something unseen, did we miss a Peregrine? There was some serious panic going on.
Once they'd settled down we couldn't find anything exciting but the flock of Sanderlings held at least one Dunlin (P2 #33). A few minutes later we saw a few Knot further down the beach.
Another check through the gulls gave us a Darvik ringed Lesser Black Backed Gull but it was a long way down the beach. BD got some pics so we'll report back if the ring numbers can be read - it's a long shot but it was a very long shot.
Where to next? More Patch 2 gull searching and if the weather holds there may well be some Starling action too.
In the meantime let us know who's still out of place in your outback.

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