Friday, 20 February 2009

White-winged Gull fest at Albert Village Lake.....20th February 2009.

2nd winter Glaucous Gull

2nd winter Iceland Gull

Adult Iceland Gull

After my exploits down in the south of the county looking for Iceland Gulls at Shawell tip I decide to check out Albert Village Lake in the extreme north-west of the county to see if there were any more Iceland Gulls to photo?
So earlier this morning myself and Dave Mack (McWilliams) drove over to Albert Village to see if we could see any of the Iceland Gulls which had been reported over the last few days.
Parking the car by the large locked car park, Dave suddenly realised that he had forgotten his bins and left them at home!!
So Dave using my Nikon bins and me using my Kowa scope we walked down the track and slowly started scanning the gull flock from the shoreline.
Within in about 5 minutes of scanning the large gull flock we found a 2nd winter Iceland Gull resting on the water!
Pleased on finding this bird I took a few record shots as this was a new bird to be reported at this site.
Scanning further along the line of gulls, I then found another Iceland Gull, but this time it was a 1st winter bird. This bird showed a typical 1st winter plumage and was much darker than the bird I had seen at Stanford Reservoir.
At this point I phoned Steve lister, John Hague and Birdnet to let them know about the sightings. The gulls then flew closer to us on the shoreline and we started to scan the gulls again.
Then suddenly me and Dave then picked up another white-winged gull as it flew along the line of the gulls but this time it was a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull!!
This was starting to get a bit silly as we had only been at this site for a half an hour and we had seen three different white-winged gulls in the space of fifteen minutes.
I took more record shots of the Glaucous Gull and then phoned John, Steve and Birdnet again about the sighting.
Due to work commitments in the afternoon myself and Dave could only spend another half a hour at this site, so we decided to scan the gulls again, we picked up the 2nd winter Iceland and Glaucous Gull again, but the 1st winter bird had disappeared. I took more record shots of the two birds and then John phoned us about the sightings. Whilst on the phone to John, Dave suddenly shouted out again and stated that he had another white-winged gull but this time it was an adult Iceland Gull!?!
Dave put me on the bird and then I took a few record shots of the bird.
As time was pressing, I phoned Birdnet again and let them know what we had seen over the last hour, which was truly remarkable.
Happy with the gulls we had seen we walked back to the car and then drove back to Leicester.

So to put this in context in gull watching terms for me in Leicestershire I had never seen so many white-winged gulls in one place in a single hour, and probably only Eyebrook Reservoir may have had the same number of white-winged gulls on a single day?
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