Wednesday, 1 February 2012

When is an Iceland Gull not an Iceland Gull?

I have long though that Dover Harbour under performed when it came to providing good birds for the mad band of birders who walk the pier and risk either getting blown to pieces or suffering frost bite. In years gone by I have seen Iceland and Glaucous Gulls (one each) and last year a Yellow-legged Gull, but considering the number of gulls in the area this a poor reward. The news that Ray O'Reilly had found a second winter Kumlien's type gull on Sunday was therefore a pleasant surprise. I hadn't' managed to look for it before this morning and that was a failure. After a lunchtime appointment when I picked up a new (second-hand) car I returned to the harbour and was lucky enough to bump into Dave Walker, who informed me it was being watched at that time from the Admiralty Pier. A quick relocation to the right pier and a fingernail biting ten minutes while we waited for it to return from a wander round the area had us watching it attacking a fish, provided by one of the hardy fishermen, in the seas just below us. There has been so much written about large gulls in the last few years, including Kumlien's, it's relationship to Iceland and Thayer's and much more I think it is better for me just to post a few pictures and recommend that anyone interested reads some of the papers and Web posts written about this intriguing taxon. One of the best recent posts was on Martin Garner's "Birding Frontiers" and by a lucky chance Martins is talking at the KOS indoor meeting on Thursday 9th February.

1 comment:

chiddy said...

nice shot ever better a great gull