Saturday, 19 December 2020

A Very Merry Med Gulls!

What's better than a Med Gull on the patch? Two Med Gulls on the Patch!

I met up with most of team Wanstead (Jono, Bob, Richard, Rob and Mary) at Vismig for a Christmas mince pie, coffee and a wee dram - this was pre-planned and was the best we could muster in the these desperate Covid times, with the annual Christmas pub get together obviously cancelled this felt like the our best and only sensible option. It was good to catch-up with everyone but standing around in the wet is not a lot of fun (even with a nip of Brandy inside you) so we headed over to Jubilee Pond as the heavens opened! 

This move turned-out to be a masterstroke as Richard calmly enquired "Is that a Med Gull?" - Yes! A lovely 1st-winter bird was sat on the water - this was a full fat patch tick for Rob and year ticks for the rest of the guys (I was fortunate to have found an adult earlier in the year) but was still really happy to have seen my 12th Med Gull at Wanstead. After lapping up some great views of the bird and downing another nip of Brandy to celebrate Rob's patch tick - rude not too after all! We headed over to the SSSI and enjoyed the increasing flock of Redpoll now numbering 40+ birds in the Birch Trees - no sign of any Mealy's or Arctic Snowballs sadly...so not long after we all went our separate ways, wishing each other a very Merry Christmas.

Gulls
Med Gull - Number 1

Gulls, London
Med Gull - Number 1

On the walk back to the car I picked up the 2nd White-fronted Goose on Alexandra lake, after it somehow strangely alluded us all in the morning - I then decided to swing by Jubilee Pond again before heading home. I bumped into Jono who had found the Med Gull again was giving this a good papping after not having his camera with him originally. As we both followed the bird around the pond, a bread-chucking member of the public showed-up and before long a throng of Gulls were all around us. It was quite easy to lose the bird in the melee and I'd seen it circling but lost it again, oddly Jono had it again on the deck - but really close up! 'That's not the original bird" I stumped up "Look at that head pattern". Well, what do you know - you wait all year for a Med Gull to show up and you get two birds together, thankfully I wasn't seeing double due to several nips of Brandy and this was my 12th and 13th records of Mediterranean Gull at Wanstead in the one morning. 

A cracking way for me to probably finish-up the year, with more stringent lock-downs proposed in these parts - who knows when and if I'll be out next!

Gulls, London
Med Gull - Number 2



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