Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Oh I almost forgot Glaucous-winged Gull OMFL!!

Glaucous-winged Gull copyright of Newton Stringer

Twitching crowd for the Gull

Following news from John and Brian while I was at Caerlaverock, that their had seen the Glaucous-Winged Gull which had been found a couple of days earlier, myself and Dave Mack decided to go to Cleveland the next day as it would be a lifer for both of us.

Arriving at Cowpen Bewley landfill site at around 11.30am, and just as we were joining the crowd, the Gull flew from it's position and was lost from view as it when into the landfill site. Bugger!!!
Dave and me then waited and waited but the Gull wasn't playing ball, So after an hour and half waiting for the Gull and getting very cold we decided to get some chips in Hartlepool.

After Homer (via my Tomtom) had directed us to Hartlepool Headland we found a nearby chippy and a nice hot bag of fish and chips. Whilst eating the chips the pager went off and the Gull had been re found in the ploughed field next to the landfill tip, so after finishing the chips we drove back to the tip. On route to the tip we stopped a few birders by the roadside to tell them that the Gull was back at the ploughed field, which then unfold into a scene from the cartoon "Wacky Races" as the group got back into their cars and raced down the road!!

Arriving at the ploughed field it was a couple of minutes before myself and Dave picked up the bird feeding behind the farmer's tractor. Although it was difficult to pick up first the dark grey primaries stood out like a mile and it's distinctive head pattern was clearly seen.
We then watched the bird for the next ten minutes as it feed with the other assortment of gulls at this site.
Other features clearly seen included it's dark pinky legs and dark eye and the structure of the bird was more like a Glaucous Gull than the hundreds of nearby Herring Gulls.
Pleased of seeing the bird we decided it was time to drive back to Leicester via Middlesborough (for some Waxwings) as the quarry had been firmly tick on the list.
Just as we were leaving we met up with Simon Mitchie (Fellow Drunkbirder) and had a quick chat about the bird and the New Year.
Stopping off at Yarm/Eaglescliff and drive around the surrounding supermarkets we finally picked up the reported flock of 40+ Waxwings as there feed next to the nearby railway track.
Once again the North-East had come up with the goods and although it was bitterly cold for most of the day, it was refreshing to know that Glaucous-winged Gull was on my fu**ing list!!(OMFL).
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