Sunday, 5 February 2012

Priorslee lake - Glaucous Gull

A trip to Ireland for a couple of days (non-birding!) meant that I
missed the BIG Saturday Gull fest at Priorslee Lake. The short drive up
the M54 just had to be done to see whether Sunday could produce
something of note?

Arriving at 10.30, I was still on my own 90 mins later with less than 50
or so gulls present and prospects not looking good. At that moment, a
big influx drifted in from the tip and there was no mistaking the pale
buff features of a juv white winger in the first wave - the
1st Winter Glaucous Gull no less!

Even better, with the lake 90% frozen, the only water for the Gulls to
bathe in was a circular patch barely 50m offshore making for pretty
decent viewing!

A good few minutes of bathing to start with.....

Plus the obligatory wing flaps as it hopped onto the ice, always facing away sadly!

having a drink, before preening and then just loafing around.....

Comparison with other juvenile gulls

Eventually after two missed attempts, (when it flew off directly away
from me) a flight shot ......

There was no sign of the Ring-billed hybrid or Caspian Gull today but
there was a smart adult Yellow-legged Gull hanging about. I never saw
the remains but somewhere on site, a Coot was being dismembered and the
Yellow-legged got the drumstick!

More flight action