Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Ivory Gull at Patrington Haven

Long distance twitching in winter is a bit like old skool 80s twitching. You have to leave on no news with only blind optimism to make you get out of bed - any wait for news and there's no way you'll have time to get there before it's too dark to see anything. For some reason today I had a vague premonition of dip so I was surprised to see the bird reported first thing, and less surprised to see the dreaded sad face of 'no further sign' as I struggled through a major traffic jam in Hull. I parked the car, checked my phone and had a huge dose of relief and adrenalin when I saw it had returned to the rocks.

The Ivory Gull spent most of its time perched on rocks south(ish) of the site so that viewing it meant looking almost directly into the sun. You could still see a lot of plumage detail, but it was possible to get better (although more distant) views when it flew onto the mud.

It was only late in the day that we got some amazing views of it. It flew over our heads, initially landing on the pumping station (where it did look a bit like a pigeon) then flew around again before going to the fish that had just been put out for it.

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