Thursday, 10 March 2011

A tale of hail and a self-proclaimed Larophile - Bangor, Gwynedd - 10th March 2011

There has been a Glaucous Gull in the area of the Menai Straits in the last week or so and I for one have been eager to find it (I say find as it isn't exactly the easiest bird to keep track of)
A suspiscion of mine (and several other birders for that matter) is that it could/should roost in Bangor harbour with the other large gulls that roost there.
I checked the harbour with Chris Bridge on the 9th to no avail, mainly because we only had binoculars between us and the gulls were at some distance in the strong winds.

I didn't want to give up so I thought I would try again on the 10th, so i stood at the base of the pier scanning through the gulls at the entrance of the harbour, on the straits and on the rocks that were appearing in the falling tide. There must have been 700 large gulls which I was over the moon about because if there was ever a magnet for a Glaucous Gull to roost at, this would probably be it.

There were mainly Herring Gulls out there with some stunning breeding plumage birds and a lot of immature birds showing lovely grey mantles and scapulars as they are now moulting from 1st winter to 1st summer birds. There was also the occasional brute of a Great Black-backed Gull aswell as c10 immature Lesser Black-backs (have the majority of these birds already migrated to their breeding sites?) and c100 Black-headed Gulls on the straits itself.

I don't know what it was, but I had that gut feeling in the back of my mind that the Glauc was present in the birds already present so I was really gutted at 17.00 when the first pitter patter of rain fell on my hood in the strong southernly winds. This started getting louder and more frequent until I was getting washed away in a torrential hail storm. The storm lastest for about 20 minutes on and off which was sufficient time for my scope to get wet and then mist up which essentially was my scopes way of telling me to give up and go home...

Sadly, I did not manage to locate the bird, but there is still time. Hopefully it will be reported during the day somewhere locally so I can check the roost that evening, but for now, I need to remain positive until that fateful day, when I find my own rarity at Bangor harbour. Only time will tell...


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

All hail to the Laridophile!
Better luck, and no soaking, next time Zac.
In the meantime you've got another tubenose to put on your wish list



Zac Hinchcliffe said...

cheers for this Dave! That's great :) Lets hope the same can be done with Guadalupe Storm-petrel and Jamaican Petrel (although they need to be rediscovered...)