Sunday, 8 January 2017

Back on the tip with a bang!

For a variety of reasons, Pitsea tip has been neglected this winter - most of this due to the vast reduction in Saturday activity with just a handful of dustcarts heading up there. But with a bit of a poor tide for London sites until mid afternoon, it was worth a punt this Saturday. And how glad Steve A and I were that we made the effort.

Started off with a bang, with probably the first scan of the tip revealing this beaut of a 1st-winter Caspian Gull - ringed HC5X0 - in the melee. From the Ukraine or Belarus, so a true beast from the east.
1st-winter Caspian Gull Pitsea 7th January 2017
Not long after, a familiar face was spotted - 911P! This 1st-winter Caspian Gull has been about a bit having started life in Central Poland in June 2016. Mick and Richard spotted it at Dungeness in mid-October before Dante, Jamie and I had it just last Monday, 2nd January, on the Thames foreshore at Lyle Park and then Steve A had it on Bower's Marsh on Friday 6th January. But unlike in London, it was a bit of a slag for the camera on the tip: -
1st-winter Caspian Gull Pitsea 7th January 2017
And there were a further four unringed Caspian Gulls too - three further 1st-winters and then a 2nd-winter too. So six Caspian Gulls was a real result!
1st-winter Caspian Gull Pitsea 7th January 2017
2nd-winter Caspian Gull Pitsea 7th January 2017
And not to mention the white wingers - Steve A picked up this 2nd-winter Iceland Gull scrubbing about in the rubbish.
2nd-winter Iceland Gull Pitsea 7th January 2017
And then, getting a call from a couple of birders on Bower's Marsh saying a juvenile Glaucous Gull was flying our way, literally as soon as the phone had been put down we both simultaneously locked onto this massive unit of a bird: -
juvenile Glaucous Gull Pitsea 7th January 2017
And with 'big white' the leucistic Great Black-backed Gull still about too, along with a total of 29 rings (including birds from Norway, The Netherlands, Aberdeenshire, Yorkshire and Suffolk), it was a pretty good day. And that was not withstanding as I left the tip, I realised I needed some bread for London gulling so headed to the Pitsea Lidl (36p per loaf there!), where I found the first local Waxwings - 22 of them - for the winter.
4th-winter Great Black-backed Gull Pitsea 7th January 2017

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