Sunday, 12 January 2014

Glaucous Gull, Eastoke Corner, Hayling Island - January 2014

This morning I decided to bird locally and started on the patch checking out the local flood and an old landfill site, but there wasn't much going on. News soon broke of a first winter glaucous gull at Eastoke Corner on Hayling Island, so I decided to go for it. I arrived at where I presumed Eastoke Corner was and immediately picked up the bird flying east along the beach towards me. It passed close by and continued east so I jumped back in the car and drove further east with the aim of walking back along the beach to meet it. My plan sort of worked, as I soon picked up the bird again as it got up off the beach, but instead of flying towards me it headed due south out to sea. I had been hoping the get some photos but unfortunately that was now not going to happen.

Since I was now on Hayling I worked my way along the coast, before heading up to the Oysterbeds. There were several Mediterranean gulls en route, but nothing much else to report. The Oysterbeds were typical of a winter visit with several new species for the year present, black-necked grebe,  slavonian grebe, rock pipit, and the typical mix of wader species. Whilst there I received a text informing that the Glauc was back at Eastoke Point, so as I was so close I headed back. The bird was favouring the beach in front of the large car park at Eastoke Corner, spending much of its time on the beach picking through the debris on the tide line, occasionally taking flight when flushed or on one occasion after bread being thrown out in the car park. The bird remained in the area for most of the time but just as I chose to leave it headed of west. Below are a selection of photos that I managed to get.

First winter Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus Eastoke Corner, Hayling Island
First Winter Glaucous Gull - the plumage on this bird was immaculate
as can be seen in this image
First Winter Glaucous Gull
First Winter Glaucous Gull
Glaucous Gull - this bird was a bit of a monster, when compared with
the attending Herring Gull this is very evident.
Glaucous Gull - against the backdrop of Portsmouth

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