Laughing Gull on the Wirral. 6/2/2015

Posted: February 10, 2015 in Bird Watching, Twitching
Tags: , , , , , ,

A trip to see the wintering Ring Ouzel`s in North Wales along with the various scoters got us all rarin` to go. Then as often happens a lifer turns up for a couple of the team. So a change of plan, get to New Brighton in Cheshire to see a first winter Laughing Gull. The bird should be on the east coast of America about this time of year but was sadly of course. How it got here was discussed, but flying here seemed the most likely after some of the Atlantic gales that there have been. A grey, foggy morning greeted us as we set off from Rochdale and it did not get better en route. As we went under the Mersey Tunnel we hoped for clearer conditions on the Cheshire side, no such luck. We got to New Brighton and wandered around in cold miserable conditions and waited for the tide to turn. It’s really changed has New Brighton and we met a jolly traffic warden,now there is a rarity! We met a few of our birding friends from the York area and had a good laugh about various things,(a bigger laugh was to follow) After a couple of hours vigil the bird was found on the beach near the lighthouse. To get there you had to cross a barrage of barnacle strewn rocks, some quite slippy. The bird was seen but it kept crossing over the rocks to feed on the sandy beach, cross the rocks again, but not so lucky. Fully laden with camera, tripod & telescope, binoculars and lots of insulating clothing, I slipped on the rocks. Going down in stages would have been good on You Tube (I have looked) but not for me, sustaining cut hand and slight damage to telescope eyepiece. Bowed but not beaten, we took up position above the pontoon on the marina and got some decent pictures of the Laughing Gull, which performed admirably for the crowds. A couple of Purple Sandpipers and 2 Snow Buntings were also seen in New Brighton. We called at a few birding spots on the Wirral before ending at Burton Marsh were Stonechat and Linnet were added to our lists. The hoped for Great White Egret had flown up the coast unseen by ourselves. Good day out with 2 of our team getting a lifer and we got back home to claim a few “browny” points.

Dave O.Laughing Gull @ N Brighton (30)Laughing Gull @ N Brighton (63)Laughing Gull @ N Brighton (29)Snow Buntings @ N Brighton (8)

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