Friday, 29 March 2013

Candles and Priorslee, 28th March 2013

After a week all but devoid of large gulls out east, a few Meds providing the only interest, returned to Shropshire to find several hundred Black-heads on Priorslee Lake along with... a 1w Med! Still no large though, so moved to Candles where c200 large gulls were standing in the snow across the road, and amongst them was last week's dinky 2cy Iceland Gull. Another c300 gulls were feeding on the tip, one of the long-staying 3cy michs included, and a scan through the loafers up on the top produced a big 2cy Glaucous Gull!
Lunchtime on the tip resulted in a reduction in gull numbers so tried my luck back at the lake, and on arrival the Glauc was splashing about just off the layby.
A scan through the swelling flock turned up a smart ad mich and a 4/5cy Caspian Gull, looking virtually adult except for a dark mark on the bill, some brown in the coverts and a tertial, and a single small black blob on a tail feather... so more likely a 4cy?
But arguably the highlight was an adult hybrid Ring-billed x Lesser Black-backed Gull. Almost certainly the same bird as was here in Feb 2012, but in clean-headed summer plumage now, the slightly smaller size, lighter-toned mantle and distinctive ringed bill were a perfect match. Good to see it again!

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