Monday 10 February 2014

Glaucous House Tick

A timely phone call from Lee Collins this afternoon resulted in me finally getting glaucous gull from the house. The bird, a superb ice-white adult, was stood on the same sandbar as yesterday's kumlien's. It was on its own and I watched it for a minute or two from Joel's bedroom window before it took off and lazily flapped away across the river. It plonked down on the golf course at Starcross. It is presumably the same bird that was on the Axe yesterday afternoon and the Teign last night. Many thanks to Lee for the call. 
It was a bit nuts this afternoon because Terry Smith picked out an adult kumlien's gull along the seafront which was later seen briefly by Chris Townend and Dave Hopkins. I failed to connect and was disappointed not to get yesterday's first-winter kumlien's either. There were far fewer gulls along the seafront today but I'm hoping the forecast stormy weather over the next couple of days will re-establish the feeding frenzy. Below are a few more photos of yesterday's kumlien's gull - a first for me.


  1. Matt, The first-winter bird we saw yesterday has to be a Kumlien's Gull on your pics. The primaries clearly show the buffy-grey wash to the outer webs of the primaries and the practically all-dark bill are clear pointers to confirm this id. Shame the wingtips were not so obvious in the field views we had!

  2. Hi Terry. Yep, the more I look at the photos the harder it becomes to argue any case whatsoever for 'glaucoides' iceland. The harsh light off the estuary and beach yesterday did make the primaries look whiter but I'm annoyed I focused so much on photographing the bird off the beach rather than studying it through the scope. I'm still hopeful Chris Townend will get it today and I know he's keen for a better look at your bird. Good to see you Sunday and many thanks for the call yesterday.