Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas time, Ivory Gull quite fine!

Finally managed to get over to Patrington Haven this morning to see the Juvenile Ivory Gull, unfortunately I was about 5 minutes to late to see it feeding close and the bird was sat out on the rocks when I arrived. Managed to get 'good enough' views in the scope in the brief moments the wind wasn't blowing force 10 in my face! A really big gull, looked completely white except some small black markings on the wings and mottled black around the bill, an adult bird would be entirely white. This bird is a rarity on these shores and should be in the Arctic right now! The bird was preening and flying between a couple of spots allowing me some nice flight views. Happy with what i'd seen I decided to head off, many stayed with their cameras trained on the 'feeding area' but not sure if it came back in later on.

                                                                         Ivory Gull

Next up I decided to try my luck with the Green-Winged Teal at North Cave Wetlands. Only a handful of people were in the hide when I arrived and they'd not seen the bird, suffice to say I was worried. We spent a good half hour scanning hundreds of common Teal when a gentleman managed to pick out the bird which was hiding behind a female teal. The big differences between common and Green-Winged Teal is the white 'stripe'. On the Green winged teal it is vertical not far from the breast, on the common it runs horizontally along the lower scapulars. See photo below, the bird in the bottom right is a male common teal, notice the white stripe along the scapulars; the Green-Winged Teal is the bird in the centre of the image with the vertical white stripe on the breast. Again this is a rarity in the UK, a bird which breeds in North America and winters further south in the USA and below. It may be that both these birds have been brought here by the recent storms.

                                                       Green-Winged Teal & Common Teal

A very enjoyable day, didnt think I would manage to get any more birding in before the new year so 2 lifers in a day was definitely a bonus!

Merry Christmas to all my blog followers, hope you all have a wonderful time and best wishes for 2014. As most of you will know i've got a little one on the way in mid February so I dont think my blog will be too active in 2014! Thanks for reading my blog in 2013 I hope its been informative and enjoyable!