Saturday, 4 December 2010

Mum's Gone To........

...................West Rainton.

After a fortnight of not using my optics 'in anger', thought I'd take advantage of the NE's population going Xmas shopping and the roads getting a little better and try for the YLG (would-be Lifer) at WR.

Journey was fine, roads clear, but the entrance to WR was gated off as the access road and car park were somewhat unkempt (bit of an understatement!). 

So a short walk in, Shackleton fashion, scope legs instead of ski poles, and at the hide, many gulls.  Those already in attendance had declared that the YLG was not and had never had been there today,but there was a probable Iceland Gull (juvenile). 

Indeed, there was a young white-winger, which, in my opinion and some others there, was the smaller of the two expected (I see BirdGuides has it as Glaucous but I disagree).

And then the best ever Bittern views I have ever had, with TWO exposing themselves frequently (where's Leslie Nielson when you need him?  Or Finbarr Saunders?) on the icy shores to the right of the hide.  Absolute birding perfection, and no other way to decribe it, with 20 minutes of both appearing and then disappearing into the reeds, and so it went on.

Others there will have fabulous stills and video, but for now, here's my contribution:


  1. Nice to bump into you again today mate. Shame about the YLGull during the week seems to be the best. Sadly a few hours need to be put in usually.

  2. I see you are counting it as an Iceland, but was it an Iceland or a Glaucous?

  3. Mr Kinghorn - stop being cheeky. I spent a couple of hours but had to get out before my car or my feet became frozen to the spot (I'm getting on, you know!).

    Mr Gaz - for once, I was correct. It WAS an Icelend (see pg 502 of the Durham BirdForum thread).