Monday, 8 April 2013

Glaucous Gull at Seafield Sewage Works

I was not intending to check the gulls at Seafield today but found myself driving there as if on auto-pilot. Ah well, may as well go with the flow... The tide was in so there were few gulls along the shore so I headed up onto the banking to scan the area behind the pipes but there was no sign of a roost there. Checking the factory roofs revealed why with a large number of gulls clustering on the big blue one. Almost immediately a massive juv white-winger lifted off - a Glaucous Gull on size alone. It then flew lazily eastwards with the whole of the Edinburgh skyline as a backdrop. The shot below shows it in front of the Salisbury Crags and Pentlands - looks like an image from the Arctic!

Assuming that the Glauc had headed for the sewage works I hurried round to scan the filter beds and loafing areas there. On the last bed there it was - and it had messed up its immaculate plumage already.

In direct comparison with these Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls the large size of the Glaucous Gull was striking. Probably a male - its dark tipped bill and dark eye combined with its juvenile plumage allowing it to be aged as 2CY (first winter). Quite probably the same bird as was seen at Port Seton and Aberlady Bay, although its bill pattern seems slightly different to the Port Seton bird photographed well by Keith G.

It did not hang around long despite the fact that was on hands and knees on the banking at this point taking shots through the base of the perimeter fence. Instead it took off and sailed right over my head onto the sea.

 The bird then took some time to wash to get the sewage stain off its plumage.

Hmm... is that it all cleaned off yet?


Stuart said...

Nice! (apart from the kack of course). Great BIFs too. You're on a roll - White-spotted Bluthroat next please.

Morg said...

Yes I'm pretty pleased with this - once again the gull of interest comes right over my head - must be a Seafield thing as it never used to happen at Alnwickhill!

Any bluethroat would do for me (not on my British list... yikes!)