Friday, February 13, 2015


So basically 2 days ago I clapped eyes on a dark 2cy gull, saw it again yesterday with Adam Hutt, Chris Gomersall and Peter Knight and managed some flight shots and it looks like a very good candidate American Herring Gull. 

(Edit- been described as a textbook American Herring by Martin Elliott)

Pics below

I'd posted them on various Facebook groups and a few private emails but no one was showing too much interest in it, I stupidly ignored the power of Twitter for some reason, but Tom Lowe (@saloplarus) tweeted some of the pics and said he thought it was an American Herring around midday and it got a very positive response!

So lets hope its re-found and if anyone interested in having a look directions below.

The gulls feed on the large tip (Harewood Whin) near Rufforth just west of York, and then loaf in the area around the airfield, best place to park and look will be on the airfield, the map below shows where you come off the road and drive round the outside of the airfield, please note this is a VERY active airfield and you should not attempt to walk/drive on the airstrip! Park sensibly tucked away into the edge as marked on the map, DO NOT park beyond the haybale stack on the right hand side as you go along the southern edge of the airstrip and view the field as marked. The air club and farmer are happy for people to do this, but will not tolerate people walking on the airfield or trying to get closer to the fields where the gulls loaf, DO NOT drive down the track that runs along side the field to Woodhouse Farm. There is a small concrete pad just off the track around the airfield that can fit about 5 people on it, the farmer is happy to have a few people stood there but its probably best if most line up on the fence line and view onto the field.

Best of Luck!

Also in the area are 3 Kumlien's Gulls, 2 adults (one with a brown wash to head, one with a clean head) and a juv bird, pics of all 3 below

Clean headed bird first seen at Wheldrake on 2nd Jan

Then today on the Airfield, its subtle!

The second adult has a brown wash and was first seen by Jono on 7th Feb

Pic by Jono Leadley (more here)

And again yesterday at the airfield (12th Feb)
Pic by Adam Hutt

And the third a juv that I had on Wednesday in the same field as the American Herring

Also a 4w ringed Caspian Gull seen on Thursday 12th Feb

Pic by Tom Lowe

And a big 1w Caspian also seen yesterday (12th Feb)

Theres also a handful of Iceland Gulls and an adult Glaucous all been seen in last few days and doubtless more!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Spurn trip in pictures

Spent a few days at Spurn last week, fairly quiet but a wader ringing session was good and was nice to play with new camera. Off to Morocco/Western Sahara soon so will post about that when I'm back.

From Hes East, first photograh of a Water Rail from the site!

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Photographed this Brent Goose at Spurn on Friday (23rd)

Seemed to be hanging about with a family of Dark-bellied Brents but is it a bernicla or has it got a bit of nigricans in it?

Opinions welcomed

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Went down to Gloucestershire yesterday with a few targets to see.

Started off at the Dartford Warbler near Cheltenham which showed incredibly well! We arrived to this amazing little site that is basically a park in Cheltenham with an area sown with a wild flower mix where this bird was following a pair of Stonechat around. Showed really well at times even feeding in the nearby Sycamore trees several times! Shockingly the first Dartford I've seen for 12 years! So really enjoyed this bird.

Well overdue at Spurn, this year?!

  Feeding in Sycamore and sub-singing away

Then went onto Slimbridge WWT where the female Ferruginous Duck was in the Asian Pen! Really strange watching it swim around with the captive Baer's Pochards and getting chased by White-headed Ducks!

It then proved it wasn't part of the collection and flew off to the South Lake

We then toured around the hides, really enjoyed the large amount of birds there, so much to look at! The Tack Piece is really impressive with ton's of ducks, waders, swans and geese all over it!

Finished the day at Hawling where 2 Short-eared Owls put on a decent display despite us arriving a bit too late as well as a Barn Owl.