Tuesday 18th December: Iceland Gull & Bar-tailed Godwits

Yesterday I didn't visit the floods but instead went to see if the Waxwings were still around on Frenchay Road though unfortunately there was no sign of them at midday.

Today I was back on the Meadow for my usual last hour viewing and with the river still high once more I viewed from the west river bank back across towards the strip of grass between the river and the floods. There was plenty to see today: to start with there were a couple of BAR-TAILED GODWITS on the grass island near the river. Usually at this time of year one expects to see Black-tailed Godwits and so this is a rather unusual county record. The golden plover flock numbered around 300 birds with 4 DUNLIN in amongst them. On the floods themselves there were five GOOSANDER, comprising 3 males and two red-heads. There were also around 10 or so PINTAILS (mostly drakes). The best was reserved for last though when in the fading light I picked out a first-winter ICELAND GULL in amongst the throng. It was a rather grubby looking individual but its pale primaries stood out nicely in the fading light. Three YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS were also worthy of note this evening.

One of the two Bar-tailed Godwits taking a rest

Strictly record-shot quality video footage of the Iceland Gull

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