Sunday, 15 December 2013

IVORY GULL!!! - Christmas comes early

Computer issues (that I won't bore you with) this week but all seems well again...for now? Bet you've missed me...not.

Anyway...back to the topic in question. The year is sliding to an end. Shortest day next Saturday...then things are on the up? I decided to have a drive up to Barmston to look for the Kumlien's Gull. We had a stroll but I couldn't find it. I thought I saw it from the car flying along the beach but I couldn't be sure.

Arrived back at Holmpton around 2 and had a look along the clifftop. Having just finished 4 long days I must admit I was flagging by now. I returned to the house around 3 and prepared to watch the Spurs/Liverpool game (no contest). Settled down with a cuppa, everything nice and relaxed. This time of year is obviously not primetime for rarities, so I must admit to not checking my Yorkshire messages instantly... fortuitously, I did check a message at 3.09 (I must have inadvertently cancelled the MEGA alert)...lucky boy!

"East Yorkshire IVORY GULL Patrington Haven!!!"

3.12...OUT THE sandals!

It's 7 miles to Pat Haven. When I arrived there was only one car in the car park. I grabbed my Camera and Bins and waddled off down the path. I'm not as quick as I used to be (and that wasn't very quick to be fair). Even slower in open-backed sandals plus limp. Light fading fast.

Eventually I saw a figure out of the gloom in the distance. I didn't even know if it was a birder but that's where I was heading. Closer inspection revealed Geoff Dobbs. A very good sign! As I joined him he informed me it was still present and feeding by the Humber Bank. A quick scan and there it was...BRILLIANT!!!

A marvellous, hoped for and well overdue YORKSHIRE TICK. I managed a few record shots but they're on the camera memory as I forgot my card and I've lost the USB link. I've ordered another so I'll post them when it arrives. Tim Jones has posted some pictures. Other birders to connect were Adam Hutt, Steve Webb, Mick Turton, Ian Smith, Tim Isherwood and his other half. Think that was it...apologies if I missed anyone out.

When I've had chance I've been scanning the local beaches hoping to find one ever since the 2 birds were found further north. I'd considered going down there today instead of Barmston...I should have gone!!!

So, a MEGA just down the road. Hopefully many more to come on the bird-filled PATCH. I'm fortunate to live so close which allows me to connect at short notice. That was the idea however when I moved out here!

A long time since my British tick. A summer record at Inverness...22nd July 1995. Takes me to 170 for the Year on the PATCH.

Many thanks to Geoff for releasing the news so quickly.

Hope it's there tomorrow so the rest of the chaps can connect...

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