Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Local birding: 1stw Caspian Gull, Whinney Hill Tip, Lancs - 23rd Dec 2008.

Above: the left hand bird, showing underwing.

1stw Caspian Gull with Herring Gulls and a Great-black backed Gull - Whinney Hill tip, Lancs - 23rd Dec 2008.

After yesterdays frustrations at Fishmoor re adequately documenting the prob 1stw Caspian Gull in the roost, I knew i wouldn't get a good nights sleep and predictably woke early at 05:00. Within 5 seconds of awakening I was 'chewing' on the bird, so i got up and poured over Caspian Gull images on the net until 07:30!

Hell bent on relocating the Gull, it was still dark when I arrived at Fishmoor. During the first 40 mins of light, a (the?) 1stw Glaucous Gull was seen both on the roof and the water but I failed to locate yesterdays target bird.

By 09:00 I was stood looking across Whinney Hill Tip. The Gulls took over an hour to settle over the tipping area having been resting in fields in the wider area. The Glaucous was eventually seen a few times.

I began concentrating on an area where the Gulls were within 'clinching' record shot distance. Over an hour passed before the magic moment I was praying for thankfully arrived... and 'THE' bird appeared perched on a ridge amongst other Gulls........... an absolutely cracking example of a 1stw Caspian Gull! - No doubt!

Grainy record shot of the 1stw Glaucous Gull. On two occasions during the week I suspected two 1stw may be present but never proved it. Today, both Allen Holmes & Mark Fanshawe both independently commented that they thought two birds may be involved at Whinney Hill/Fishmoor, one more of a brute than the other.