Juvenile Yellow-Legged Gulls, Eastbourne

 

It was booked weeks before, and much looked forward to. A trip to Visit Friend Laurence P on the south coast in an attempt to find some of the first arriving juvenile Yellow-Legged Gulls on the year.

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Our first site drew a blank, but a small boating lake within Princes Park, Eastbourne was host to this beast.  Presumably a Male, the bird gave incredibly close views and we got through two loaves of mighty white pretty quickly.

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The bird was quite worn on the tertials, most scaps and the tail, which seemed to be slightly stuck together, perhaps a substance picked up on route from the Med, as a ringed bird in the same place a few years back from Perpignan would suggest.

The following day we returned to the same spot to find a different bird. Smaller, slightly less worn and just as generous with its proximity.

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Patch Common Rosefinch! Walthamstow Marsh

 

On approaching the underpass along the main path of Walthamstow Marsh I heard a distant; sweet and bright dysllabic whistle. Then the repeating of a section of song, four syllables, unfamiliar in a patch context but defiantly totally arresting.  My thinking was it had to be Rosefinch.  Having only heard one sing a few weeks before at Dungeness it was fresh in my mind but without seeing the bird I was reluctant to blast out a hasty tweet – a photo of an escaped Canary type thing on Hackney Marshes had been sent to me by a non birding friend a week or so ago and I didn’t want to mess this up. There is little high ground and i couldn’t see the bird at all. 

I called local Paul W and he arrived at a time when the bird had been silent for 15 mins.  Five minutes later It sang clearly a 5 syllable undulating song. Paul agreed ‘Thats got to be Rosefinch’ ,but still no visual.  I scanned from the highest point I could find, and saw the bird distantly perched up in a Hawthorn. 

 

 The appropriate texts and calls to locals as well as RBA etc were made and people began to arrive.

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  With nine previous records its a pretty good bird for London. Many people seem to have come to see, and hear it and I’m very pleased to have eventually found a (much more) twitchable bird on the patch.

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The Bird ended up stayed for nearly 2 weeks and later choose the ariel of the Anchor and Hope as its singing perch.