Sunday, 3 March 2013

Thursday 28th February 2013 - The Chasewater roost

The gull roost at Chasewater had been excellent recently, with six white-winged gulls at the beginning of the week coming into roost. There had been three GLAUCOUS GULLS, two ICELAND GULLS but best of all, a probable KUMLIEN'S GULL - a bird I'd never seen in the county before. My best ever Glaucous Gull count was two, and so to see three in a roost would be spectacular indeed.  

I couldn't make it down until Thursday evening, and there had been no sign of the KUMLIEN'S GULL in Wednesday's roost. I still went ahead with the trip, just on the off chance that it would return.

As I finished work early (and started early don't forget) I had plenty of time to get to Chasewater, and so I called in at Kingswood Pool on the way. I'd never been here before, and soon found masses of gulls in one of the fields and on the pool itself. I started scanning the gulls in the field first, and, as often happens, before I had got a quarter of the way through, they were flushed. They settled again before a massive flush then occurred. It was so massive, that all the gulls on the pool and on the tip also flew up. There were three huge masses of gulls circling in the air, and they all headed off. Fortunately, I had managed to find a juvenile Glaucous Gull in one of the groups.  

I arrived at Chasewater at the ridiculously early 15:25hrs, but I started checking the roost, as all the gulls from Kingswood had flown straight to Chasewater. At this early hour, the reservoir was already full of gulls, including the juvenile Glaucous Gull.

Apologies for the photo but I'm still struggling with the new camera. Especially long distance shots!

I was joined by Belvide ringing stalwart Roger Clay and the roost slowly grew in size. A juvenile Iceland Gull was next in, and soon after to be joined by the very pale juvenile (pseudo 2w bird) Glaucous Gull. And unfortunately that was all. I'd sat on the same bench for nearly two hours, in a cold, biting wind, and despite the roost containing c6000 large gulls, there were just the three white-wingers now. 

Ouch! What a shocker but the best I could do. Good job it was white and stood out like a sore thumb