Sunday, 15 December 2013


The Twitch - I didn't get there that early, it had been light for a while, but I was still the third person there. See the other two and the (rather dead) sperm whale.

Here's the scene, though a bit of a cheat as the gull was not feeding when I first got there, just sitting around. It then flew off strongly north. So after a bit I and two others (two more) tramped north along the shore. I looked the wrong way whilst an otter showed.

About a mile up the coast, scanning, and eventually the whitest one came into view. Flying back across from Eyenhallow, where it may roost. The pure white plumage and very long white wings, very pointed, were a sure giveaway.

This is a very white individual and I do wonder, what with the plumage and the yellow coming into the bill if it might not be a 2cy? The gull book does not entertain such nonesense of course, 1cy or adult are the options.

The bill it would seem is especially adapted to the task of piercing the tough outer whale skin. The gull continually worked at a tiny hole.

Nice bird, early Christmas present I guess, although I could do with a year end find.

WeBS counting today produced two nice drake Goosander on Loch of Bosquoy. The 120 or so Teal on The Shunan refused to reveal a G-wT though.


Nick Carter said...

fantastic send it to Filey would ya please

Imperfect and Tense said...

Nice pics! We managed to see the gull yesterday, but were not fortunate enough to encounter it feeding on the whale. However, it was a cracking intro to wildlife watching on Orkney.

Alastair Forsyth said...

Suspect that this is the Patrington individual, Dave, please can I have my gull back.