Saturday, 7 January 2012
Dump comes up trumps
The morning started off well with 2 Hawfinches at Llanbedr-y-Cenin. This species has been difficult to catch up with this autumn, so it was a relief to finally get one. The rest of the day was spent looking at gulls. There seemed to be many more around today than there were last weekend and careful scanning of the flocks along the coast finally came up trumps. A lovely 1st winter Iceland Gull was with 50 or so Herring Gulls behind the Thorncliffe recycling centre, between Abergele and Rhuddlan. This is a site I've been keeping an eye on as it brings in a regular movement of gulls from the coast, sometimes many 100's. These fields held a number of big butch northern 'argentatus' Herring Gulls too. The 'white winger' then flew towards the coast and after following it, the sight that greeted me at Kinmel Bay made my heart race; many thousands of gulls strewn all along the coast towards Rhyl. I walked out to the low tide mark and grilled as many as I could in the fading light - lots of interesting ones, including a 1st winter Caspian candidate which got my heart racing. No picture of that I'm afraid as it quickly disappeared into the 'gull' frenzy before I managed to get the camera out. However, I did take a couple of pics of argentatus birds and a few interesting 'white' headed Herring 1st winters such as the ones shown above. I wish I'd already been on Martin Garner's gull course - i certainly needed it today!