ADULT SLATY-BACKED GULL, center, back on, at Rainham Mashes
This shot was taken by Simmon Buckell
You can to Simmon's website to see better footage of the gull http://shorebirder-waderworld.blogspot.com/
Here is a flight shot Adrian Webb
Adult SLATY-BACKED GULL at Rainham Marshes!!!! The gull is in the center of the video.
Last night a message came on my Birdnet pager that there was a possible adult SLATY-BACKED GULL at Rainham Marshes!! A second for Europe!!!! Last Monday, while I was with John and Conrad at Crayford Marshes, my scope of over 20 years, gave up the ghost on me. The following day I ordered another scope from Paul Flint at Birdnet Optics and this morning it arrived. As soon as it was out of the package, it was in the car and straight off to Rainham Marshes. I had never been to the RSPB reserve before, but 20 minutes later I was given directions by a very helpful warden called Howard. Following the Thames, I made the mile or so walk to the tip and found only a handful of birders lined up against the perimeter fence. On arrival I was told that the bird was seen ten minutes ago, but only in flight. I saw a lot of faces that I hadn't seen for years and it was great to catch up with Simmon Buckell. A message on the pager claimed that the gull had been seen in a nearby field. I was told that it was the same person that reported it flying over the reserve car park.The reported sighting was ignored and we carried on looking. There were over 2000 gulls feeding on the tip and half an hour later a call came through to one of the birders from Dominic Mitchell, who was perched on top of a mound looking over the tip, that he had just seen the bird. I had high hopes that we were going to see it and a few minutes later someone thought they had it, but it was a Lesser-black- backed Gull. However, Nick, standing next to me thought he had it. I looked through his scope and could see a gull that I would not of given a second glance at, to be honest. I saw it very briefly, as other birders wanted to look and when it flew off, I was told that it was possibly the bird in question. The gulls came back down again and I started scanning. I found the bird immediately back on and tried to get other birders on it. It was a good few minutes before everyone thought that it was the bird. The gull was scrutinised while it was on the deck, and it seemed to show all the ID features, although I was not too familiar with the gull. It stretched the right wing and showed off the broad white edge. It performed well on the deck for nearly half an hour and then with the other gulls, it was up in the air and was not seen again that afternoon. Everyone was happy that they had seen an ADULT SLATY-BACKED GULL!!!! The light was fading quickly and just before four, there was very heavy rain. Luckly I bumped into Adrian Webb and his dad Dave who gave me a lift to my car as they were only parked a few minutes away from the tip. Thanks for that Adrian and thanks to Dominic Mitchell who found the gull.
ADULT SLATY-BACKED GULL, center, side on, performed for half an hour on the deck at Rainham Marshes