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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Gull round-up

Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull

Following the excitement of the Kumlein's Gull on Thursday, another visit to Farnham Quarry on Friday was a complete let down with only 15 Herring Gulls by 17:00, and a couple of hundred Black-headed Gulls.  A good count of 70 Goldeneye, of which 18 were adult males, and some of the female/immatures were showing signs of male feathering, also a male Pochard and six pairs of Gadwall were of interest. 

A morning visit on Saturday 3rd March to Allerton tip produced an adult and at least two immatures, probable 2nd-years.  I was joined shortly after by Paul Irving and another birder who picked up an adult Caspian Gull.  Had scope views before many of the flock took to flight.  I went back again in the afternoon to see if the Caspian had returned but had no luck with any of the scarcer gulls, and due a heavy rain shower had my lights on...and left them on when I got to the tip.  Doh, flat battery.
Rainbow at Allerton
Sunday morning at the tip and not many gulls at all, and none of interest.  In the evening, I tried Farnham again, and by 17:10 the only larger gull was a single 1st-year Herring Gull.  The only highlight was an adult Kittiwake in the roost, among eight Common Gulls and c.800 Black-headed Gulls.  Where have all the larger gulls gone?
Alder catkins

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