Male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Moore nature reserve, Warrington. 22/02/13.
Frank admits to never really having paid much attention to gulls so I was a little worried about taking him along for some dedicated gull watching. Things looked good within five minutes of settling down though as I picked up a fine first winter Glacous Gull, a really big, heavy looking beast, I understand it's been on show most days recently.
First winter Glaucous Gull at Richmond Bank, River Mersey. 22/02/13.
Earlier in the week Pete Kinsella had mentioned that he might be at Richmond Bank today, so it was no suprise when he text to let me know he was there, Frank and I met up with him and it was worth having Pete's sharp eyes as he picked up three adult Yellow-legged Gulls (other observers claimed up to eight Yellow-legged Gulls) anongst the enormous flocks of Herring Gulls. A strange first winter beast was picked up by Pete, a giant of a bird with pale primaries, almost certainly a Glaucous Gull x Herring Gull. It has to be said that I'm getting softer as I get older and I really felt the cold today and was seriously considering jacking it in until Pete picked up an Iceland Gull - a nice second winter bird, a lovely looking specimen. A second Iceland Gull quickly followed (a first winter) and a third, another second winter bird, soon after that. The birds all flushed and I took the decision to head home to try and get warm (Frank came back to Burscough, we left Pete there....). A fantastic three and half hours at Richmond Bank, well worth the effort and getting cold for.
Second winter Iceland Gull (above and below) at Richmond Bank, River Mersey. 22/02/13.