Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Arctic stunner, Pennington Flash

There was a wonderful 2nd sum Sabine's gull on Pennington Flash today. It spent all day from at least 9:15 to 17:45 close inshore with black-headed gull near Horrock's hide. At one stage I had it hovering about 1m away from me. I could have reached out and touched it! A stunning bird and a stunning experience. The Med gull was also still around and even once shared a photo with its High Arctic cousin. A strange pair to see together!

The yellow tip to the bill is obvious on most of these photos. I love the grey hood with black border. Stunning bird! I've seen a few Sabine's gulls, but this is the best by far, and is almost as remarkable a record the two Leach's petrels I've seen on the Flash in recent years.Found by Bill Harrison who also found an August adult summer plumage Sabine's gull on Prescot reservoirs a few years ago.

At first glance it might look a bit black-headed gull like, but when it flaps those wings there's no mistaking it.

From the left, Mediterranean gull, black-headed gull and Sabine's gull.

I didn't realise they were such a small gull.

Sabine's gull twitch. Even Lee Evans turned up.

Mediterranean gull.

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