Sunday, 23 January 2011

Venus Pool - What on earth?

Sunday was going to be another day spent cruising the East and North of the County. A quick check of Polemere confirmed this remained a very happy Winter haven for Teal and Wigeon (but not a lot else). The Ruddy Shelduck was feeding with Greylags in one of the fields on the approach to VP .......

As I entered the main hide I was greeted with ‘What the hell is this’ by one of the regulars. I had a look - what on earth was this?

This strange Herring type Gull was stood near the main island.

I say 'strange' - my first thought was that it had upended a can of wood preservative on a tip somewhere – the brown colouration could not be natural? All the visible white plumage parts were stained or streaked orange brown. I've seen blood dstained and dye stained Gulls before but this was in a different league!

It walked about a bit, giving a wingflap in the process. The underparts covered by the wings appear pure white which leads me to a likely conclusion that it had been bathing in some type of ‘staining’ liquid? Or is it just from red clay slurry??

Within a couple of minutes it flew off, no doubt to puzzle birders elsewhere.

Oh and there's plenty of Lapwings building up, I counted 215 on the pool on Monday.....

Onwards then......