7 Feb 2009

Back to Arpely

Another organised gull watch for the laridophiles today at Arpely tip where 11 hardy souls braved the freezing temperatures to search for white-winged gulls amongst the thousands milling around the tip face. With freezing temperatures and bright skies the bracing air was filled with the sound of gulls and the sweet fragrance of the tip filled the nostrils provoking a gag reflex!
Plenty of action today but no sign of the adult Glaucous Gull found yesterday by Tim Vaughan & Pete Kinsella or the adult Ringed-billed Gull found by the lads earlier in the week. The total haul was 2 Iceland Gulls (1st winter & 2nd winter), 2nd winter Glaucous Gull, adult & 1st winter Med Gulls, 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls (one sporting a metal ring) & a possible Caspian Gull. Other interesting birds were a leucistic Herring Gull & an argentatus Caspo look alike.

2nd winter (3rd calendar year) Iceland Gull

One of the adult Yellow-legged Gulls can be seen on the left in the photograph below - through the 'scope the red orbital ring could be clearly seen. An earlier bird on Birchwood pool superficially looked like a YLG but had paler legs and a yellow orbital ring - an argentatus Herring Gull!

The gull below superficially resembled a Caspian Gull but was in fact an argentatus Herring Gull. The eye colour gave it away!

Another interesting and educational tour of one of the more salubrious corners of Widnes. It made a nice change from peering up the ar*e ends of Redpolls in Stanney Woods and certainly gave my neck a rest!

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