Posts Tagged ‘Iceland Gull

05
Mar
18

Slicing

On the 2nd of March I was beginning to get cabin fever. With a tour cancelled because of the snow and my supplies here at the flat exhausted, it was time to venture out. The snow was no longer falling but temperatures were low. I mean … low. The cold wind was one of those winds that didn’t go around you. It cut straight through. Two pairs of overtrousers, two coats, gloves, hat and all I could get on and still walk, and I was still bloody cold. I took the camera to the beach here in West Runton. Ten minutes later I was thinking to myself ‘What the hell am I doing here’. Cabin fever seemed like the better option. As I approached the boat ramp I could see gulls were flocking on the tideline. A sheltered spot and I was able to do a sweep through them. An Iceland Gull and a Med Gull … unlikely bedfellows. I decided to venture onto the beach and get a photo of the Iceland. As I picked my way between the boulders the slicing wind took on a new energy; seemingly determined to push me over. I got to the tideline and no sign of either gull. All that was left was me and a lonely Sanderling, both of us leaning into the wind.

Advertisements
24
Nov
17

“To your right!”

The intermittent Iceland Gull within the Cley area recently, has been damn difficult to see. We were stood in the ‘beach hotel’ at the NWT Car Park when it flew east just offshore at nothing less than warp eight speed. “Our engines canny take any more Jim” It couldn’t have flown faster had it been designed by Sir Frank Whittle.

Too quick for some to see … apparently.

28
Feb
17

February

Some excellent bird tours in February. Around 6 trips into the Brecks and almost as many into the Broads. The tour on the day of storm Doris was a challenge to say the least, but we still managed a few things of interest. Here’s a compendium of photos of just a few birds we came across during the month.

bewicks-swan crane glaucous-gull goshawk great-grey-shrike hawfinch iceland-gull lesser-spotted-woodpecker mediterranean-gullrough-legged-buzzardsiskinsnow-buntingwaxwingwoodlark

 

20
Dec
16

Shopping at Iceland

Passing Salthouse duckpond yesterday I stopped the car and had a good look through the gulls perched seemingly everywhere. One almost immediately stood out from the congeries. There had been an Iceland Gull seen here in recent days … it was back. Stood in short grass the disarray in its plumage was obvious as was it’s reluctance to fly. It also had a gammy leg, was heavy with feather life and spent much of its time with its eyes closed. the bird had obviously seen better days.

Moving the vehicle and walking down the shingle ridge nearby the antics of a 40+ strong flock of Snow Bunting were a delight to watch. On returning to the vehicle the Iceland Gull had moved into the field adjacent to where the car was parked. It was now in longer grass but was closer; although still reluctant to fly.

iceland-gull_z5a4715

iceland-gull_z5a4834

10
Dec
15

Shellfish on ice

When friend Bob and I visited the river Ouse where it flows through King’s Lynn last spring we both made a comment. We were looking at the congregation of gulls at the shellfish processing plant when we agreed that it would be a great place to find an Iceland Gull during the winter.

Last week we found ourselves in the area and had heard an Iceland had been seen on the Ouse. It didn’t take us long to find it… right beside the shellfish processing plant! Initially it was on the dockside roofs but it soon came down to the bank side where it made itself very available for photographs.

Iceland Gull

 

05
Apr
12

April Mystery Bird

Most people’s perception of Gull identification is perhaps best summed up by one entrants submission “It’s a Bl**dy Gull”

Gulls can certainly be a challenge but March’s mystery bird should not pose too many problems if features are looked at carefully.

The gull is obviously one of the white winged gulls either Glaucous or Iceland. The other options of Kumlein’s or Viking Gull (a hybrid Glaucous x Herring Gull) would show darker edges to some primaries. Glaucous Winged Gull a relatively new addition to the British List would show greyer primaries.

On perched gulls the ratio of the bill length to eye diameter is conclusive (Iceland has a bill under 4x the eye diameter while Glaucous is over 4x quite often 5x or more). The difference between Glaucous and Iceland Gulls can also be done simply on structure. Iceland is a smaller more compact Gull with a relatively shorter bill. Glaucous is a brute of a gull with a big head, bill and fierce expression. In flight it would look full-chested and bigger bodied than Iceland. Our bird is indeed a daintier, slimmer bodied benign looking Iceland Gull photographed appropriately in Iceland during February.

All answers were for Iceland or Glaucous with twenty two answers for Iceland Gull. Phil and Jan Thorpe did it again and now have four successive correct answers. Once again well done.

There has been an invasion of white winged gulls into the country this last winter and I’m hoping on our Scotland trips this month we catch up with one or two as they move back north.

April’s Mystery bird is pictured below and should be quite easy. Please submit the id by email to carl@wildlifetoursandeducation.co.uk. The rules of the competition can be found in a previous posting here. Give it a go … it doesn’t cost anything and you could easily win as successively correct answers mount up!




Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

December 2018
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Archives

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: