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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Glaucous Gull in Hamilton Dock

A much better day today, Sunday 17th November following a horrendous last few days. A look at Gunton Warren along the cliff top revealed 2 chacking Fieldfares from a tree by Corton road along the southern edge. A look down at the sea revealed a fast swimming female Common Scoter swimming quickly north. Seeing Rob Wil & Roob Win, they suggested going along the clip top to look for the Dartford. I initially had no luck but when I bumped into Paul & Jane, Paul W & one other all stood in a line, I joined them overlooking the new path and the laid out scrub edge, the Dartford Warbler was seen briefly flitting about before it flew up into the branches of a small bare tree where it showed well here for just over a minute before it flew left. A text stating the Glaucous was back and we drove down to Hamilton Dock, where the fine 1st winter Glaucous Gull, was seen swimming around very close to the north east corner giving superlative views. A typical 1st winter with biscuit coloured plumage, quite dark face, pale whitish wing tips and diagnostic pink/ black bi-cloured bill. The bird spent a lot of time swimming around the other herring Gulls feeding on the bread and discounted chicken scraps thrown by the birders! The bird would occasionally swim over to the left and then swim back to the right desperate for the food being thrown onto the water. 2 Rock pipits were seen too. Later seeing Phil J he casually mentioned that he'd just seen 3 Velvet Scoters off Gorleston cliffs. I decided to give it a try. At Gorleston Cliffs, viewing from the extreme south end of the car park I was astonished to see a really large flock of 459 Common Scoters initially in a large flock with a separate group of 32 Common Scoters. Looking closer still I suddenly spotted the distinctive silhouette of first one then 3 then 3 Velvet Scoters with more triangular knobbly heads, 2 white spots on the head and the distinctive white wing clip of 3 fine Velvet Scoters, they led the flock south, dived and surfaced together and it was great to spot them in the gloom (3.20pm on a very cloudy afternoon.

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