Monday 17 February 2014

Little Gulls

I finally caught up with Little Gull today. Two of them in fact. I spotted one from the car just as I arrived at the yacht club, but I wasn't prepared and by the time I'd got my camera out of the boot it was moving off to the west. There was nothing for it, I had to bite the bullet and leave the warmth and comfort of the car and go down onto the beach. Luckily I didn't have to go too far, not so luckily it started throwing it down (just for a change). I managed to get a few shots of them before my camera began to get too wet but it wasn't easy in the strong wind and driving rain.

This one was an adult...

And I believe the black on the wings makes this one a second winter.

Thursday 13 February 2014


Thought I'd take advantage of the brief interlude in the stormy weather and visit Seaton Marshes today. I was hoping that the Avocet which has been around for a few days would put in an appearance. I only had to wait around half an hour before it suddenly appeared in the channel in front of the hide.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Today I've Mostly Been Looking at Herring Gulls. Oh, and A Kittiwake.

It was very wet and windy today, so I only did a little bit of birding from the car. The Kumlien's Gull was back on the river by the tram sheds again, hunkered down amongst the Herring Gulls. They all looked most miserable in the driving rain. I was hoping to see a Little Gull today but it wasn't to be...somehow I just keep missing out on them at the moment. Steve had one on Bridge Marsh this afternoon but it had gone when I looked. I did see a nice adult Kittiwake flying down the river though and got a couple of shots of it.

Later in the day the rain stopped, the sun came out and all the gulls off the river headed to the shoreline to see what tasty morsels had been washed in. I spent a while trying to look through them for the Kumlien's Gull or something new but it was just Herring Gull after Herring Gull after Herring Gull in all stages of plumage.

See!...Herring Gulls...

More Herring Gulls, a handful of Great Black-backed Gulls and (front right in the spume) a struggling Guillemot 
(or if you read the Daily Mail (please tell me you don't!) a Penguin!)

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Kumlien's Gull

I'm on holiday from work this week and feeling pretty determined to get out birding as much as possible. So when I heard that Steve had found an adult Kumlien's Gull at Coronation Corner I decided to go and look for it even though it had flown out to sea. There are still large numbers of gulls patrolling up and down the beach and as soon as I arrived at the the yacht club car park (well, what's left of it) and lifted my bins, I spotted it sitting on the sea. Unfortunately it immediately took off and flew westward along the beach. I tried to follow but soon lost it in the glare as I was looking directly into the sun. There were so many gulls it could have been anywhere! Then I was distracted by several stricken, oiled Guillemots being washed in on the rising tide and began helping a chap from the RSPCA to locate them.

I had a second look for the Kumlien's Gull later in the day without much luck and had just got home and started cooking the tea when I received a text from Ian M who had spotted it by the tram sheds. I dropped everything and went straight there, the first time I've rushed out for a bird in an absolute age. I'm so glad I did, it was a stunning bird and gave some superb views. I took a few shots with my digiscoping camera, but only a few as the battery went flat almost immediately. I hadn't used it for months, so was lucky it had worked at all! It was good to see some familiar faces too, which I also hadn't seen for months!!

I was hoping to get some good flight shots but it didn't decide to leave until light levels were rapidly falling not helped much by an approaching storm cloud. Still, I got some not very good ones like so...

Thought it was going here... but it was a false alarm.
Then at 4.47...they're off!

Stands out nicely.

Around the yacht club a few much more common birds posed well, like they do.