6 Apr 2010

White-winged Gulls and Osprey's.

With a Glaucous Gull and two separate Iceland Gulls being seen and photographed off the N Wirral coast over the Easter weekend a minor twitch ensued. The Glauc was first picked up by Mark Turner on the sea earlier in the week and relocated by Allan Conlin off Leasowe Lighthouse on Good Friday. I think this is the first authenitcated record of Glaucous Gull on the Wirral for many years. The last one I saw was a short staying juvenile bird at Rock Ferry around 2003 -2004. Taking Molly for a walk Saturday morning Janet & I  found the Wirrals laridophiles viewing the Glaucous Gull as it sat on the beach about a kilometre away with the other large gulls attracted by a major Starfish wreck!

Bank Holiday Monday I again took Molly up to Leasowe for a search around the pony paddocks and Lingham Lane.  Meanwhile Allan had relocated the Glauc back on the beach and this time the obligatory crap record shots were achieved.

With Monday's tide much lower than on previous days the gull wasn't forced to fly off when the sea covered it's favoured sand bank. Once it got to deep for it to lie down it stood up and then when it got  even deeper it simply floated!

Nearby the wintering Greenshank showed well but distantly in the channel around the breakwater.

Whilst perambulating around the inland footpath looking for Wheatear's or an early Yellow Wagtail I came across a couple of birders looking at this 'White Wagtail'. Despite me pointing out the dark
rump they weren't willing to change their minds. No wonder so many records of White Wagtail are treated sceptically.

The only other migrants seen were a couple of Swallows but all the gulls suddenly lifting off alerted me to a possible raptor flying over head but I couldn't pick it up.

Back home a Chiffchaff has taken up residence near the pond and has been duly added to the garden list for 2010 as it occasionally forays into our trees.

Star bird though was this Osprey heading over NW when I arrived back from working in Leeds this afternoon. I just had time to grab a quick shot as it disappeared over the house. Unfortunately I forgot to extend the lens so it was shot at 150 mm rather than 500 and I didn't have time to alter the  exposure compensation.


Jason said...

You can see how people do get mixed up with the whole pied/white wagtail complex though. Most people will see a pale backed Wagtail and instantly call white without eliminating maybe a female pied first. Superficially it looks ok for white but like you say it has a dark(ish) dark rump (possibly within range for white?) though not black but you can make out the black uppertail coverts. At least you tried !!
Cant you tell i have been reading during the long winter.
Nice one with the Osprey, jammy git.

Phil Woollen. said...

Great photo's of the otters jase. Really envious of you getting that close.

Pied / White Wags a nightmare - every year the 'first' get claimed on the Wirral weeks before they start apearing on south coast migration watch points.

I've been reading up on the finer points of post juvenile passerine moult for my ringing. many years since I've had to do that!