Saturday, 21 March 2009


This first-year ICELAND GULL was still present on the strictly private landfill site at Calvert today (Tim Watts)

Friday, 20 March 2009


Calvert BBOWT; First-summer ICELAND GULL late afternoon and main roost later.

My first 3 SAND MARTINS of the year also on reserve/ Water Rail seen by others/Chiffchaff singing (Tim Watts)

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Early morning visit to Calvert NR today and the single CETTI'S WARBLER was on good form as was :

1 Chiffchaff singing
4 Snipe in cut reeds in front of first hide
Male Tawny Owl calling (this evening approx. 5.30)
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Green Woodpecker
5 Shovelers
13 Fieldfare
18 Tufted Ducks
12 Cormorants
3 Reed Buntings
6 Great Crested Grebes

Nick Mariner


A41 Berryfields layby; 3 SHORT-EARED OWLS/ c20 Mipit/ 7 CHINESE WATER DEER.

Owl count was initially easy in good conditions at 5:15, one sat on hedge and 2 up hunting. After 5:25 no more sightings at all, stayed 'till 6:30. All seen in enclosed field area to left of layby (Tim Watts).

Worn gulls in spring plumage

Bleached gulls in early spring
This bewildering selection were all photographed at Calvert Landfill on Sunday 15 March by Tim WattsCalvert landfill-mar 15

Gull A - 3 shots of weird 1stW gull. White cap against juv plumage stood out. Also
maybe weirdly a bit of Caspian jizz? just a Herring ?

2 shots of very light 1stW Herring Gull. Not sure if same bird in both pics.

2 shots of gull that made my heart jump for split second. Looked like dark backed small gull
with eye mask!!
but settled on 2nd-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull (Tim Watts)


Calvert landfill - 15/3/09 (Note that there is no general access to tip - strictly private)

These are two of very pale first-year ICELAND GULLS seen recently in main roost. Neither is the darker brown individual seen recently. For various reasons suspected 3rd white one on site today but could only nail down 2 together.

These photographs weren't as easy to get as images suggest!! Most of the time gulls on rubbish well out of range and had to wait for groups to be spooked onto pit. The 2 were together for only 5 mins
before off again. Pics taken at scope 40x/ camera max 3 zoom in night roost would be poor
pics but these taken in good light.


QUAINTON HILLS; Quick late morning yomp over top with Colleen produced 2 male NORTHERN WHEATEAR/8 Mipits, 3 in parachute display flight/ c200 Fieldfare+Redwing in bushes.

CALVERT LANDFILL (No public access); 2 pale plumaged juvenile ICELAND GULLS, photographed individually and together. Suspected 3rd bird on site/ 3 very pale 1st W Herrings with very pale primaries as well/ male COMMON STONECHAT (Tim Watts)

Friday, 13 March 2009

Sailing lake; Did gull roost with Steve Norman and we had 2 first-year ICELAND GULLS, both pale plumaged, one virtually white and other with light gingery wing panel. Also an adult MEDITERRANEAN GULL, my first here this winter. All birds spotted between 6:10 -6:30 when tip gulls arrived.

BBowt reserve; this morning 3 rare for reserve species:

Redpoll/Siskin and House Sparrow( my 2nd ever in 15yrs!!)

Tim Watts

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Three First-summer ICELAND GULLS this evening on Calvert Sailing Lake

After 2 fruitless recent gull watches, tried Calvert BBOWT pre-roost again but too many overflying to sailing lake so moved to watch there. Eventually found THREE first-year ICELAND GULLS, all very pale, almost white plumaged birds. The first one was found at 6:05pm, then another 2 shortly after. Kept checking positions of the 3 and roost nicely spaced side on and settled and without doubt 3. First time ever found or seen 3 white winged gulls at same time. None of these three was the dark plumaged juvenile seen last week so definitely FOUR separate birds recently.

There was a month gap before these birds appeared so I reckon juvenile seen month or so ago was another. Roost intensively watched but that one not seen again, so reckon we've had FIVE birds.

Earlier on BBOWT, 4 male Shoveler and Mink seen swimming from under 2nd hide (Tim Watts)

Monday, 2 March 2009

This albinistic juvenile Herring Gull was also seen at Calvert Landfill on 1 March, an extremely striking individual (Tim Watts)


Two different first-year ICELAND GULLS, both initially discovered on the Landfill on 1st and photographed above (Tim Watts), roosted on the Sailing Lake amongst 10,000 large white-headed gulls on 2nd. There was also this very interesting bird below (bottom two images), considered by many to be a juvenile GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL, and an individual which has ranged widely throughout the South East (I first saw it with Chris Heard at Queen Mother Reservoir in Berkshire) (LGRE, Warren Claydon). In my opinion, it is a hybrid gull of Northwestern origin, perhaps with some smithsonianus genes.