Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Ross's Gull - No Beast From the East here just an Angel from the Arctic.

After having a day out on Forest yesterday with Mike, I decided that i'd just do the morning shift out locally today as I had plenty to be getting on with at home, however just one small spanner, was of one of those small arctic gulls in the Weymouth area. I resigned myslef to the fact I wasn't going to go "but you know how it is", you tell yourself your gonna do the right & responsible thing and then do the total opposite. Any way after discussing the logistics with Steve A it was an early morning arrival at a very bright but bitingly cold and windy Lodmoor. 

Video above & below provides you of what the viewing conditions were like through the scope today, second video you can clearly see / hear it give a soft call.

As we arrived we could see people watching the bird but by the time we got on site we were greeted with those words you just wanna ban from the English Language " it just flew off" news then came out that it had returned to the scene of the crime at Ferrybridge. Arrival at this site was met with " it flew off over that way about five minutes ago" "wtf - please don't be a day of this". Time to try and settle in and wait for sighting number three for the day. Radipole, a good strategic position near Lodmoor with easy access back to Ferrybridge, also near the bay and also a good bet for a showing itself later in the day.

We settled in at Radipole and I managed to get a few items completed from the car, which I had planned to do at home and then the star of the show just lazily dropped in. A little distant and drifting out of sight in to the edge of the reed bed at the start but it came closer and affording better viewing and ending up on the island just oppossite the visitor centre. "Back of the Net"

This is my third Ross's Gull, the first also seen with Steve A in 1993, a 1st Winter individual at Inverness, the second (2002) came in the form of a collar wearing & slightly flushed adult in Plymouth found by "Inglorious Bustard himself - Simon Tonkin". It has been a long time since but this smart and finally obliging individual made the wait worthwhile. It was also nice to catch up with some old faces and meet some new. 

After the bird departed we decided to hang it out on the viewing platform of the visitor centre, where the sun provided some warmth after the wind had relented. A quick stop off at Lodmoor on the way back and then time to head home. A good day, a great bird, some decent company and as always good to catch up with Steve A and others.

Adult winter Ross's Gull, Radipole Lake RSPB, Weymouth, Dorset, February 2018.

More images to come from a new and exiting blog by Steve A - Here
View from the viewing platform at the Visitor Centre at Radipole Lake, RSPB, Weymouth, Dorset.

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