Saturday, 14 January 2012

Gull Fest in York: Caspo, Iceland and Med Gulls!

Some good birds in York today, I got a message from Tim telling me he'd found an adult Med Gull at Heslington, another good record for the site, there has now been several records of this species from the site over the last year or so.

A bit later in the afternoon and another phone call from Tim, 1st Winter Caspian Gull at Wheldrake. This was too tempting to ignore. I was just heading out the door to go check North Duffield but this made me change my plans. I got to Wheldrake as quickly as possible and made my way to Tower Hide where Tim was stood. Luckily the bird was still present and was stood amongst the rapidly increasing gull flock. Got good views of the bird, very smart! It had a yellow darvic ring. A great local record.

Interestingly a yellow darvic ringed Caspian Gull (apparently from Poland) was seen and photographed well (below) on 23rd October 2011 at Spurn - the 3rd site record, presumably the bird seen today at Wheldrake is the same bird? Hopefully it will get seen again and we can get the code.

Caspian Gull - Photo John Hewitt - more on Spurn Bird Observatory Website

Not to miss out on the national Iceland Gull fest a 2nd winter bird dropped in before getting blocked up to view by all the other gulls. There was a lot of gulls tonight so tomorrow could be interesting for those lucky enough to be there.

At 1650 we heard the distinctive sound of distant Whooper Swans as they flew onto the Ings to find somewhere to roost. An enjoyable end to the day!

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