Sunday, 21 January 2018

Another grey weekend

As I write this, it feels a bit like groundhog day. Grey skies all weekend, heavy rain with even a bit of snow thrown in this afternoon too. So good weather for gulls. And two stints at Crayford - one on Saturday and one today - were relatively successful.

Saturday's session was void of notable species, no Caspian Gulls and I couldn't locate the Iceland Gull. However, I did manage to read 14 rings in the couple of hours I was there which included a Suffolk-ringed Herring Gull and this Danish-ringed Black-headed Gull: -
Danish ringed Black-headed Gull 'Y22' Crayford, London 20th January 2018
Today was a little more successful, as Jamie, Dante and I spent an hour or two in the freezing, wet conditions looking at Crayford's gulls again. Fewer rings were seen, but this was largely due to less gulls on the wasteground at Jolly Farmers, where the gulls tend to show better and reveal their legs! There was a nice looking first-winter Caspian Gull on the distant roof at the back of the recycling centre, while the juvenile Iceland Gull was present for its third consecutive weekend and showed the best it has done: -
juvenile Iceland Gull Crayford, London 21st January 2018
With not too much movement with the gulls, and a distinct lack of feeling in our toes, we headed to north London and Walthamstow Marshes. On Friday, a Little Bunting had been found here and the bird has been showing on and off here ever since. I'd said to myself that with the weather as poor as it was, I'd be shelving it to another weekend. But when there wasn't too much else to do, and the thought of it only being 10 miles or so from home, that twitching gene kicked in. An hour or so of waiting in the sleet, snow and then rain did eventually pay dividends with some decent scope views, though I managed to mess up any potential shots. It was also nice to hear this Little Bunting calling a handful or so times too. So not a bad weekend given the dismal conditions, though it'd be nice for there to be an excuse to get out of London...

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