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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Yorkshire Ivory

Late Sunday afternoon just after I had finished photographing the Great Northern Diver at Scarborough Mark rang to inform me that a juv Ivory Gull had just been found at Patrington Haven, Sunday afternoon just as it was getting dark was not the best time to receive such news. However I had already got today booked off but after the disappointment of the Northumberland birds it was fingers crossed, fortunately it was still present Monday morning and some quick thinking birders had brought it some fresh fish which it feasted on before flying back out to the estuary where it spent the day, returning to the fish late afternoon, it had followed the same pattern yesterday so I planned to get there for just after first light, but I mistimed it, it was busy through Hull even early on and it had already been light more than half an hour when I arrived, there were already birders coming back saying it had been on the fish but had flown back out to the estuary, oh well at least it was still there. I found the bird sat on a clump of vegetation on the edge of the Saltmarsh preening, I got reasonable scope views although it was very windy today which didn’t help, my second after seeing the bird at Aldeburgh, Suffolk in 1999, still it was another Yorkshire tick for me, I was rather hoping it would change its routine today, it wasn’t a good weather forecast for this afternoon, and fortunately it did, after a couple of hours it flew back in and circled around a couple of times before plucking up the courage to drop down to the fish, a superb bird really confiding, I seem to remember the Aldeburgh bird was just the same, it had a good feed for 20 mins or more allowing all the photographers to fill their boots, and memory cards, before flying back to the estuary much to the disappointment of the late comers. After lunch I headed back and spent a rather drab, grey afternoon at North Cave Wetlands, it was very quiet although I flushed a Green Woodpecker on the main path, it flew up onto a post but by the time I had got the camera out it was off, not that there was any light anyway.
first views

eventually it took flight

and headed back in

lunch time

tucking in

don't know what was on the menu

changing light when the sun went in

came even closer

take off

back to the estuary

Waders on the mud

winter Grebes at North Cave

plus Pochards

drying off

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