Saturday, 17 March 2012

Stone Barges - Kumliens Gull

This morning i was hoping for the pager to go off for both Iceland & Kumliens Gulls, both as i understand it species of Iceland Gull neither of which i have seen before.

Just as i was leaving to take the wife and girls to ballet it happened via Twitter with Paul Hawkins saying he had just had it. So a good start.

By about 9.10am i was parked at the Barges with No1 son in tow. There were already about 20 odd people there (and still being new to this, i didnt recognise anyone).

No1 son was making a reasonable amount of noise in his pram, nothing to put off the Gulls out on the Thames but possibly get a reaction from a birder or two; i didnt fancy a debate about his murmurings this morning so decided to take myself off down river a little.

No1 Son at the Stone Barges today
I found a large group of Gulls and set about the scan; all Black Headed Gulls, a little further out in mid river another group; a mix group of Common, Herring, Lesser & Great Black Backed, of varying ages.

Another group contained a mix of the same but the last few birds caught my eye as i stopped on a Gull considerably lighter than the others surrounding it. On closer inspection it wasnt the Kumliens but a Second Winter Iceland Gull. Now i new they were about but i was really pleased that i managed to pick it up myself.

I started to head back towards the barges as a group who i walked passsed earlier had been on the same bird. They were all scoped in my direction so i could at least confirm my sighting. Yep, a 2W Iceland but they had also been on the Kumliens which had flown off to the far shore and i was running out of time.                                                                                                                            

I made the decison to head back to the dance studio and took a stroll back to the car; ok hadn't seen the Kumliens but i had got the Iceland.

Back at the car i unpacked No1 son from the pram, took his warm weather gear off, strapped him in to his car seat, took my gear off, loaded it all in the boot, got in an started the car when....

Snap decision, out the car, gear back on and back down to the river; a lot more people had arrived from the walk from the reserve now and all were fixed on the pier / jetty on the far side. Again i was told this time by David Bradnum that it had gone to the shore but was tucked way behind the jetty.

My self and two others then took a walk back to the same spot i had seen the 2W earlier and straight away after scopes were up all three of us got distant views of the Kulmiens. Not great if im honest but views none the less.

Other Birds: Water Pipit, Shelduck, Jackdaw, Linnet, Dunnock, Feral Pigeon, Cormorant, Teal, Wigeon, Wood Pigeon, Moorhen, Grey Heron

courtesy of Paul Hawkins

Actual Info on the bird can be found on his blog rather than just my ramblings!

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