....deadend actually as the 2.5 hour visit here produced the handsome total of four bird species which included an unfortunate Carrion Crow which I presumed had a broken wing though the evidence didn't appear all that obvious but it's left one did seem to fold oddly but wasn't dragging on the ground, in any event the bird couldn't fly away from me and just kept hopping ahead all the time.
I set off for Harrisend this morning with much apprehension, realistically thinking I would find the Stonechats had deserted the area, but realistic thinking isn't good enough to achieve accurate records and I needed to gather the evidence so....onward christian soldiers. The result was that my thinking was in fact accurate enough and I found not a single Stonechat for only the second time in something like 12 years visiting Harrisend in just about every month of every year. I now need to cover as many known Stonechat area's in the coming week's before the returning bird's arrive to try to establish some sort of documentation of just how much the recent ice-age appears to have affected this upland bird.
The record's I gathered today makes it difficult for them to qualify for a birding blog but were....a Coal Tit which surprised me somewhat and seemed a little out of context feeding on a moorland gorse bush, 7 Red Grouse, and 6 Greylag went over NE, a Brown Hare was noted which brings me to comment that I have seen very few this year so far in the Cockersands area where they are usually numerous and have always been so in recent years representing the best area I know for seeing the creature.
The image of an adult Caspian Gull above is posted with my thanks to Mike Watson who captured this bird on the coastline of Muharraq during his 2009 birding tour of Bahrain. I've noticed a good number of Caspian Gulls reported in the UK recently presumably as observers have become more familiar with the species....not including me I hasten to add. It is only just over 14 years ago that the first record of a Caspian Gull in GB was accepted, and it was more than 2 years later before the first record in Ireland. If you're anything remotely like me with 'gulls' and ever hope to ID one of these birds I'd suggest a long study of this photograph as a good idea to be in with a chance of success if it's an adult you happen to find.
I'm not sure you're likely to see one of these handsome brutes in the UK soon, this is the Steppe Gull which is another of MW's Bahrain 2009 record's. Thanks for allowing on to Birds2blog these two excellent images of these two equally excellent birds Mike.