Monday, 2 February 2015

Icy Conditions!!

I didn’t make it to the Farm at the weekend and missed out on a Gull fest with an Iceland, Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls all present. The tip at Beddington is not in operation on a Sunday which gives the gulls the opportunity to disperse. An Iceland gull was reported on Staines reservoir Sunday but would it see its way to the farm for Monday?!

It was bitterly cold overnight which usually means the lakes at the Farm will be frozen over. A big plus point is the gulls use the newly created skating rink to loaf on. Frank Prater is also in his element because he gets to see plenty of legs reading off a number of gull rings.

It wasn’t too long before Frank had found the Iceland Gull on the North lake and the news was dispatched onto twitter @bfbginfo which does not generate an automatic text message to my phone anymore...Thanks Vodafone!! A few text messages later and Frank informed me the Iceland was now on the South Lake.

It was time to sit things out at work and hope that the gull would remain on the ice and not disappear amongst the thousands spread all over the farm. When the Chigley hooter went I was off and running!! I have seen a few Iceland Gulls but have promised myself that I will seize as many opportunities to see good birds in the Vice County of Surrey this year.
(Iceland Gull)
I turned up at the Farm and the lock was on the outside of the gate hmm I was the only one on site. I legged it up onto Kojak’s corner which was freezing cold some 60ft above lake level! I checked the South lake and bingo there was the Iceland Gull facing me stood on the ice. A couple of stretches of the wings later and I was happy this biscuit brown bird was not one of the lucistic birds that frequent the site.
(Iceland Gull)
The chill factor was getting a bit too much so I wandered down into the hide to see Bulldog scanning the gulls for the bird I had just seen. A short conversation later Bulldog made his way onto the mound and bagged the bird. That was a relief as I hadn’t realised he was on site and the tweet had not been picked up by him. The bird had now joined the other gulls and faced into the wind. It did look strange being the only bird facing in the opposite direction..Compass failure maybe!!

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