I finally caught up with the juvenile Glaucous Gull late afternoon on Thursday on what was my fourth attempt. Even in a field full of Gulls it was easy to pick out. It is nearly as large as a Great Black-backed Gull and has a very pale white and ochrous-brown mottled effect colouration. The bill is also distinctive being large and pink with just the end being clearly demarcated in a dark brown/black colour.
|Size comparison with Black-headed Gulls|
|Glaucous Gull - as seen for most of the time|
See my blog of March 2013 for pictures of an adult Glaucous Gull at Dungeness.
Other birds present on the gull roost in addition to various gulls were Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Grey Plover.
|Dunlin at roost|
Earlier in the day we had paid a return visit to Rooksbury Mill and Pinglestone Watercress beds. With the weather bright and clear we had hoped to improve on the picture of the Ring-necked Ducks we had taken on the mill pond early in December. The ducks were still present, the weather was perfect, but unfortunately the ducks were still wary and kept there distance so I came away with no real improvement on the pictures I had taken previously.
Other ducks on the Mill Pond were more obliging. Male and female Gadwall came close as did an assortment of Tufted ducks.
All with the ever present Heron keeping a watch over them.
The visit to the watercress beds also prove a little frustrating. We saw Green Sandpiper and Grey Wagtails along with a lot of Little Egrets but they were all too distant for photographs. The real targets of the visit had been Water Pipits. Did we see them? Well maybe, there were two pipits, light in colour, pinkish legs, white underneath, and at least one with a bright supercilium. They looked good but we couldn't be sure, so this year tick will have to wait for another day.
A good days birding and in nice weather conditions for a change and it was particularly pleasing to finally catch up with the Glaucous Gull.