Saturday, 20 March 2010

Garganey, a Glaucous and everything else!

After a successful seawatch this morning, I had had my birding 'fix' for the day, which included two year-ticks and loads of other good birds at Splash Point. However, that all changed thanks to a phone call from my dad. Apparently there were two Garganey showing very well on the Ouse Estuary Project! I'd spent almost everyday around there in late March 2009 without seeing one! I rushed down as fast as my bike could carry me, and upon getting there the Garganey were showing brilliantly. It was two drakes in all their beauty, hanging around with a flock of Teal. My best photo attempts are below;

Also present on the wetlands were 60 Teal, 30+ Snipe, a Lapwing and a Curlew. Winter obviously isn't quite over yet. While I was there, dad mentioned there were five Mediterranean Gulls in the gull flock on the floodwater. Almost immediately, I heard the cooing, Eider-like sound of one, and picked out one in the 200 or so gulls. I then noticed something else flying overhead. It was biscuit-coloured, with a creamy-pink bill and blackish-brown speckling, and it looked quite big. In the back of my mind I thought "Glaucous Gull", but I had just found a possible Yellow-legged Gull in the flock, so I put it out of my mind, convincing myself I had seen a Herring Gull looking odd in the light. Anyway, the Yellow-legged Gull turned out to probably be a juvenile Great Blackback (though I'm not totally convinced, and if I find it does look like a Yellow-leg or Casp in the gull books I'll put a picture of it on here). But getting back to the story, Mum and Dad had gone to sainsbury's for the shopping, and I was currently at home. So imagine how annoyed I was when dad rushed through the door, saying he had gone back to the Ouse Estuary and seen... a Glaucous Gull!!! We got down there, and checked through the gull flocks, to no avail (although I did manage to see four Mediterranean Gulls). Still, I am now sure I saw the Glauc before, and since I cathink of no reason why a bird you only identify a few hours after you've seen it shoudln't count, it now goes on my year list, which, with the addition of Garganey as well, is now on 114!!

Finally, a quick two pictures, of flocks of Brent Geese flting very close inshore at Splash Point this morning.

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