Monday, 3 March 2014

Candles and Horsehay, 3rd March 2014

Sunny days are never the best for gulling - harsh light and soaring flocks make life very difficult. But I'll take what chances I can get these days, and a free morning was not to be missed. 500+ large gulls were on the tip on arrival, but all landing out of sight, frustratingly. A few big flushes by machinery revealed the presence of the 3cy Iceland again, and it even landed on top of a bank briefly, allowing a better view than last week.

I eventually tired of watching a fraction of the flock, and followed a pack of gulls down to the comforts of Horsehay Pool where a couple of hundred showed very well in the sunshine. The light was still  bit harsh for photos, but when an interesting 2cy swam into view, digiscoping was the only option. It had all the jizz and feel of a Casp, but the head was finely streaked all over, and the nape streaking was broad and extended down onto the breast sides more heavily than you might like. The coverts and tertials were nice and plain, and very worn, but the scaps were distractingly marked with large black diamonds and bars. Determined to see it fly, I watched it for over an hour but it refused to budge. However I did get a look at a few wing stretches, and the solidness of the greater coverts, the indistinct pale inner primary window, and the perfect tail all suggested the initial feel was right. I left it until I could examine the photos at home, and with the help of the scoring system from the BB article, I came up with a score of 19 or 20, within range of pure Caspian Gull.

No comments:

Post a Comment