There was standing room only in the hide this morning. There have been some interesting gulls at the farm recently and this has bought the heavy artillery in the form of Garry Messenbird, Gordon and co up from Sussex. Gulls are always a testing subject and recent Iceland gulls have been at the front of the line as topics of discussion. A big bonus is that the majority of these birds are photographed by the regulars and extra time can be spent scrutinising the pictures.
There are plenty of gulls to choose from even on a Saturday but time is limited as the landfill shuts down at around 12.30hrs. I must confess I go cross eyed sorting through the multitude of gulls but today I started looking on the island directly in front of the hide.
A 1st winter Caspian Gull was first on the menu Garry having spied it at the back of the island. Scanning continued with the gulls taking to flight intermittently which can be an advantage mixing the gulls up tip to mound and North to South lakes. A bag laden gull was responsible for most of the mixing process early on.
I spied a bulky white winger but the bird was facing back on to me. There was patchy grey on the mantle the head was small in comparison to the bulky body. The bill was large with a distinct black tip. I announced the presence of the bird and the next job was to confirm its identity. The gulls had been jumpy during the early part of the morning and true to form a bag laden gull sent the gulls skyward taking the white winger with them.
A short while later the same bird returned to the opposite side of the island and gave excellent side on views and its identity was confirmed as a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull. The news was sent out which had pinpoint hot footing it from the obs.
A couple of Med Gulls followed in quick succession before the Glaucous Gull was observed flying off towards the tip and was my 100th Surrey VC tick of the year. I added a Grey Wagtail whilst walking the north end of the lake in search of a Yellowhammer (rare at Farm) that had been found earlier on in the day by Tank and Glen.
I did try to end the day with a Beddington tick but it was not to be after an hour stake out for a Coal Tit of all birds!! I thoroughly enjoyed the mornings banter and catching up with El scorcerer!!