Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Halsham, 28th July 2014

Due to a combination of being very busy with work all summer and my local tip being devoid of gulls for months for some mysterious reason (the incinerator hasn't kicked in yet), I was beginning to feel distinct gull withdrawal. Checks of old haunts kept drawing blanks, and I was resorting more and more to orchids and insects to keep me entertained, but it's just not the same...
A detour on the way home from Scotland on 24th took me via Ellesmere, and through the heat-haze I was pleased to see c100 large gulls panting on the tip at Colemere, with 3 michs amongst them: 2 adults and a 2cy. It was a start.
A few days later, after news from Flamborough of a juv Casp and a 2cy Baltic type, I was full of hope for the newly harvested fields near work at Roos. First stop was some newly landscaped fishing pools near Halsham where c200 small gulls were loafing, and amongst a handful of bigger heads I noticed a very distinctive face. I grabbed my scope and the bird stood up to preen, and the 144-day cachinnans drought was broken - a big male 2cy Caspian Gull!

It looked like it had had a hard summer, the old outer primaries extremely worn, and the head bleached white and slightly moth-eaten looking. Great bird though, and a real pleasure.