I've been birding for more than 12 years now but I am ashamed to admit I've never seen a white winged gull before so when an Iceland Gull was reported on a pond at Swanshurst Park in Moseley I only dithered for a few days and went over there last Thursday.
Parked up in the park car park at not long after midday and walked down to the pond.It was bitterly cold and only one birder there but hundreds of Gulls including many of the larger ones were there.The birder told me the Iceland Gull had not been seen that day.After waiting for nearly 2 hours and getting frostbite I gave up but not after getting some shots of a Yellow Legged Gull that the birder had found.
I went down again the next day a bit earlier this time.If anything it was even colder than the day before and I didn't see any other birders during a stay of over an hour.More importantly I did not see the Iceland Gull.I left very cold and depressed.
I went over there again yesterday lunchtime only because it was sunny and not so cold.This time I parked in Swanshurst Lane as it's only a short walk down the bank to the pond.As I got to the water's edge the sun was right in my eyes and it was hard to see the birds.I had a quick scan before I set off to the far side to get the sun behind me and the first bird I checked out of several hundred there was unbelievably was this :-
How lucky was that.It was there. Yipppeee !!!! A life tick for me.When I'd calmed down I walked round to the far side and with the sun behind me I was able to get some decent shots.The third shot gives an indication of it's size.
People were feeding the Gulls and when one dropped it's food on the water there was quite a squabble over the food.The Iceland Gull flew around a lot on the prowl and although it's only a juvenile it was very aggressive grabbing the food.