The legendary Pitsea tip was the first site of the Day and only my second visit to this Gull Mecca. I must be a bad luck charm at Pitsea as both of my trips there have been Caspless. Gull numbers are lower these days apparently as much food waste is burnt elsewhere rather than sent to landfill. There were more birds on the previous visit and Rich pulled a juv Glauc out of the bag as well as a nice northern Argie (below)
I did however get to meet ‘Big White’ a Leucisitc 4th winter Great Black Backed Gull, rung as a chick in south west Norway in 2012 and a local celeb.
Although so far I’ve missed out on good days at Pitsea, Its still a great place to look at gulls and a real privilege to get up there, so Thanks to Rich Bonser and Steve Arlow for having me along.
Next up, Beckton Sewerage works where I had come across a Siberian Chiff-chaff a couple of weeks back, the light was good and I wanted to get better photos. We located a/the bird and I was surprised at how different it looked. All the features were present but much more subtle , I put it down to the light and enjoyed good views. (through the chain link fence again!)
As we were leaving I spotted a ‘trisitis’ type chiff a way up the path from where we were photographing just before that looked more like the original bird from the other week with more obviously rusty ear coverts. admittedly it could be the same bird in different light, sibe chiffs are notorious for looking different depending on light conditions, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are two individuals down there. The hunt to get better pics or put some proof into my thinking however was cut short as news came on of a Glauc on the coppermill lane Filterbeds, (Thats on my Walthamstow Patch!) Rich was up for it so we sped in that direction.
News from Lol Bodini, the finder, that the bird had flown south was disapointing but I thought checking Leyton Tip would be worth it, and it was! Rich and I were able to get into the tip which wasnt working , allowing us to get great views.
Northern Gulls – with adult GBBG and Argentatus Herring.
Later we went to have a look at the Swallow at the copper mill lane Filters, Bizarre to see it flying around in Jan, the Black Redstart was present also.Great day, good sites and patch tick. God bless London Birding!