Tuesday, 29 March 2011

North meets South: Waxer, Glauc, Wheatear, HM...

The morning dog walk round the local area produced no Chiffchaffs today but the number of Meadow Pipits had increased noticeably.

I had to visit a new site today over towards Lancashire. The journey over started well, with a flock of approximately 60 Waxwing along the Selby ring road, however it deteriorated after that with the usual traffic etc.

The site was interesting and is going to provide some interesting survey hours. Today I managed my first Wheatear of the year, with at least 3 birds recorded. Other goodies included several Raven, Twite and tonnes of Meadow Pipit and Skylark.

The journey home produced no interesting birds but was a lot quicker. It ended with 'the' House Martin circling over the village whilst I walked the dogs again.

After dinner I decided to hit North Duffield Carrs again, in the hope of a Garganey... the visibility was less than great and I almost turned round when I got to the car park. I'm glad I didn't. I positioned myself in Garganey Hide and started scanning.

Whilst scanning the ducks I noticed some 'large gulls' flying low. The site isn't usually great for 'large gulls' (at least in the time I've been watching it) so I took my eyes off my scope and was rather surprised to see several hundred 'large gulls', many flew through, while others started to drop in to the water too bathe. I immediately stopped scanning for ducks and started checking out the gulls.

Pretty much as soon as I started working through them they took off and started circling - in amongst them all was one stand out bird - a juvenile Glaucous Gull! Luckily it dropped back on the water. I sent a message to Alan (wasn't too sure of the status of the species at the site) and I managed to get a couple of pics on my phone (best of which is below). Shortly later Alan arrived and managed to connect with the bird too. After about 20 minutes since the initial sighting it flew off southeast with a large flock of other gulls - presumably to the Humber? By this time the light was starting to go so I left. A couple of Lesser Black-backs were in with the flock of Herring and Great Black-backs.

Glaucous Gull at dusk tonight (taken on my phone)

Before the Glauc I had noted Mute, Whooper and Black Swan (about 30-35 Whoopers flew in to roost) and all the usual ducks. Several Redshank, Lapwing and Curlew were noted. I also counted (at least) 16 Oystercatcher, my highest count at the site so far.


  1. No problem Alan, just glad it didn't vanish before you got there!

  2. Nice find Andy! NDC is really setting the pace this year...I must try harder up the valley.

  3. Haha - Cheers Jono! Looking forward to the big one!