As white winged gulls in London are pretty hard to come by I had to resort to a little twitching to finally nail both Iceland and Glaucous Gulls onto my list.
Bowers Marsh 17/02/17:
The big, juvenile Glaucous Gull that has been hanging about around the tip at Pitsea for quite a while now did not let me down as I picked it up having a wash and a drink on Bowers Marsh. Although the bird was pretty far off it felt great to see one of these milky brown beasts at last.
With two juvenile Iceland Gulls being seen daily at The Patch, Dungeness, Rich B kindly offered me a trip down there to catch up with them.
On arrival at The Patch mid morning, we were initially disappointed to find hordes of fishermen in front of the hide where the gulls normally hang out. Thankfully further along the beach a small roost had gathered and we quickly picked up a new second-winter Iceland Gull as it stood out like a sore thumb amongst the usual suspects. A good way to get the day going! A little later on both the regular, juvenile Iceland Gulls rolled up. We had the darker individual feeding in the mayhem of The Patch itself and the lighter bird joined the second-winter loafing on the beach.
Satisfied with 3 Iceland Gulls, albeit distant, we moved on to the fishing boats where Mick S and Richard S soon joined us. The first bag of popcorn went out and bang, the second-winter Iceland Gull, seen earlier at The Patch, came in. With perfect weather conditions we enjoyed watching and taking many photos of this fantastic bird. Surprisingly this is the first ever Iceland Gull to be seen at the fishing boats.
Later on in the day we picked up an orange ringed, third-winter Caspian Gull J3NT as it appeared in the middle of a feeding frenzy. It was ringed as a first-winter at Pitsea on 21/03/15. This birds extensive history can be found here.
As it was getting dark two first-winter Caspian Gulls came in briefly.
Thank you Rich B for a great day out!