Monday, 5 January 2009
New Year Madness!
Late at night on the 1st of January I put on Birdforum to see a picture of a 'grey-winged' gull in Cleveland, and straight away thought it was something special, however the person that found it didn't have a clue what it was and so luckily put some pictures of in online, everyone quickly came to the conclusion that it was a Glaucous-winged Gull, a species I'd seen in Canada a few years ago. This was always a drop-everything bird so with the knowledge that I could be at the site in under an hour I decided to wait on news the next morning. Positive news arrived fairly quickly in the morning so I waited for my mate Dave to arrive and off we were, full of expectation to what would be a stonker of a UK tick (Year-tick self-found Waxwings were a nice suprise on the journey). We waited and waited by the ploughed field but nothing, apart from thousands of Black-headed, Common, Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Hours were passing and it was getting colder and colder and spirits were fading until rumours quickly spread that someone was on the bird somewhere in the area, everyone jumped in cars, not knowing exactly where we were heading, was this going to be a wild goose chase was the thought that ran through my mind...!!! No, luckily not as we jumped out of the car and legged it across to the group of birders, anxious seconds passed before we got on it but then bash there it was, stood in the scope facing me, it turned showing its grey primary tips and over the next half-hour cracking views were had, finally even of it in flight as it made its way back to the tip. What a bird and a good job the pictures made it to the internet so that it could be correctly identified before it had departed!!! I don't think I'd been so cold for a long time but i didn't care!