Thursday, March 02, 2017

Glaucous-winged Gull is different from a Glaucous Gull.

Glaucous-winged Gull - Larus glaucescens
If the record is confirmed by who ever confirms such things, it is a good chance we saw a rare UK sighting of a Glaucous-winged Gull today. A bird normally found in the northern Pacific Ocean, this could be only the 3rd record ever in the UK. A first record for Fair Isle and Shetland. Spotted by the Fair Isle Bird Observatory Warden David Parnaby. The word soon got out and a small number of interested Fair Islanders braved the freezing sleat and rain showers to see it. Photo above is from the Crossley ID Guide for Eastern American Birds.

My photos below are rubbish! taken with my phone through a scope as the bird had flown much farther away by the time I saw it. Maybe someone will get some better photos in the coming days? Still, I'll show what I got because it is such a rare bird.

Shielding it's face from the weather,
it barley showed it's face while I was there.

This is what we saw most of the day... a big pale sleeping Gull. 

Standing in front of a Black-back Gull among a large group of gulls. We have seen many Iceland and Glaucous Gulls this winter. There is even a Glaucous Gull in the bottom right in this photo. I saw three Glaucous Gulls in the flock with the Glaucous-winged Gull as well.

Only a handful of Fair Islanders saw it.
David Parnaby of course, Susanna and Grace.
plus myself, Kenny, Deryk and Nick Riddiford as pictured at the scene.

yes, I know it is crap for even a record shot
but you can almost see the grey wing tips ID feature in this photo.

The actual views through the scope were great,
getting them as pics on my phone was met with poor results sadly.

Bird Obs has better pics on Facebook etc.
3rd record for Britain? Time will tell?

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