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Sunday, 22 March 2009

Raven 0 White- winged Gulls 4

Already going on a mainly non- birding trip to Southwold with my partner Jenny, a diversion was necessary when we received a text to say that a Raven (a very rare bird in Suffolk) had been seen in a field near Covehithe church, needless to say it had flown 5 minutes before I arrived.
A trip to Southwold included 2 visits to the harbour, the second resulted in me seeing 4 white- winged gulls. Firstly, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls flew over calling a distinctive "oww" call and they settled right in front of me. They were fine adults in full summer plumage with jet black hoods, white eye crescents and blood red bills with a yellow tip. 
Resting on a pier head on the Walberswick side of the harbour was a pale biscuit coloured juvenile/ 1st winter Glaucous Gull with a two- tone pink/black tipped bill. It had rings on both it's legs- green on the left with the letters "LE" in white written on and a plain smaller silver ring on it's right leg. This is the same bird that regularly visits Minsmere Scrape usually during the middle part of the day. An internet search has revealed this bird was ringed in Summer 2008 on Bear island (Bjornoya) Svalbard in the Norwegian territory of the Barents Sea, south of Spitsbergen and the Arctic pack ice. A fishing boat chugged into the harbour and all the Gulls on the pier head flew up and followed the boat. I then spotted a juvenile Glaucous Gull perched on the stern of the boat and I assumed, naturally, that it was the same bird I had already seen. But on checking my pictures at home, I realised it was another bird, because it was totally unringed!


Terry said...

Two Glaucs is a good tally on the east coast... I look forward to seeing the photos. It's turned cold again here and we are bracing ourselves for -5 on wednesday....

Peter Ransome said...

Thanks Terry, I wasn't expecting two and if one hadn't been ringed I would never have guessed another was present as they were both very similar looking 1st winters. Hopefully you used to the cold weather following your three recent trips to sweden!