Sunday, 5 February 2017

Biscuit Bird

Took Mother back towards Lancs on Saturday morning. Sister picked her up at Hartshead services at 11am. After having a coffee with them I started to head back to towards Hull. I had my gear in the car and thoughts inevitably turned to Birding! I decided on Rufforth to try for a White-winged Gull or two? The PINE BUNTING didn't do it for me I'm afraid. The thought of standing for hours for a brief glimpse of a distant bird wasn't appealing.
 
I parked up and started to walk down the public footpath towards the tip. There were thousands of Gulls present...
 
 
I spent a couple of hours scanning the vast numbers of birds flying by but couldn't find a "White-winged". I did see 4 Red Kites and a pair of Buzzards.
 
Earlier I'd noticed a few Birders 'scoping a flooded field from a lay-by. I walked the 400 yds to the spot but they'd all departed. I started to scan the birds with my bins, they were around 100 yds away...
 
 
It was a superb sunny, still afternoon and a much nicer view than the now distant landfill...
 
 
Birds were coming and going constantly. I'm not a Gull aficionado (Larofile) but there are specific examples that do appeal...and the "Biscuit bird" is definitely one of them.
 
My first encounter was in the late 80's at Covenham Reservoir in Lincs. I'd only been Birding a short while and I met up with some Lincs lads who were kind enough to help me ID new birds. As we made our way up the embankment to the reservoir wall one of them shouted out..."Glaucous Gull"!
I looked up and there not 30 yds away on the wall was a juvenile GG. I've always remembered that moment...sad I know!
 
Could I find one today?
 
It was quite a spectacle. Thousands of Gulls circling and drifting off as the afternoon drew on, many heading south east to roost at Wheldrake. Still no luck by 3pm. Many were coming off the tip to the pools to bathe. Eventually at 3.37pm...
 
 
It spent around 5 minutes in the water, preening and stretching it's wings...
 
 
It then moved off into the group...
 
 
 
A distant yawn...
 
 
It was VERY satisfying to finally find one among the throng with my Trinnies. Luckily it was initially at the front of the group AND gave excellent views. There were quite a few light aircraft flying over the birds at intervals. Not a great idea I would have thought?! None of them disturbed the Gulls however. Then a small helicopter approached. I wonder?
 
Sure enough this did the trick and the flock took off. Now then, a nice challenge, could I pick it out in flight...
 
 
Mission accomplished...


 
 

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