Ebony and Ivory 20th/21st December 2013

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Bird Watching, Birding, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching
Tags: , , ,

20th December.

A Great Northern Diver had entertained Steve K on his latest fishing trip to Ladywood Lakes, Mirfield, Yorkshire. He said what a dark, well marked bird it was and that it was even singing/calling a little. Worth a go on a Friday dinner trip after work I thought. Upon arrival I could see the bird at some distance away and as I got closer the sheer bulk of the bird became apparent. It was pretty dark but some of its breeding plumage was still evident. It did not do much diving and showed really well. After checking out the weir where the Ring Billed Gull is usually found in winter,it was not there or has not been reported yet, I headed for home and the news about an Ivory Gull in Yorkshire came out.

Grt. Northern Diver, Ladywood Lakes, Mirfield

Grt. Northern Diver, Ladywood Lakes, Mirfield

Grt. Northern Diver, Ladywood Lakes, Mirfield

Grt. Northern Diver, Ladywood Lakes, Mirfield

Grt. Northern Diver, Ladywood Lakes, Mirfield

Grt. Northern Diver, Ladywood Lakes, Mirfield

21st December.

Steve K needed Ivory Gull, so a trip was hastily put together with Steve, Bob K and Phil R and myself making up the number. Upon hearing the news that the bird was still present we all met in Milnrow and Bob drove us over the hill to Patrington Haven,Yorkshire. At midday we walked the half a mile to Outstray Pumping Station and could see about 20 birders break away from the main group. Had the bird flown off? As we approached we were told that the bird had finished feeding on the fish that had been left out for it but was still in the area. All was not lost as we quickly found this ermine clad arctic wanderer only 100 metres away sat on the tideline. It quickly brought memories of fruitless trips to Inverness, Cardiff and finally seeing the species in Aldeburgh, Suffolk prior to the millenium. What a bird it is. Lots of waders on the shore and a quick moving Merlin to watch as we waited for the Ivory Gull to come into feed again. After about two and a half hours the bird began to circle then land on the pumping station then it landed about 20yards away and the cameras began to click. Even I felt like one of the paparazzi as I photographed one of the stars of the birding world! The light was beginning to fade as we headed away and all really enjoyed being in the company of such a splendid bird. (Sorry for going on a bit)

Ivory Gull, Patrington, Dec 2013

Ivory Gull, Patrington, Dec 2013

Dave O.

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