Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Glaucous reception


Another real privilege to witness another unique occasion here on the doorstep at Filey. The day before I'd found a sadly deceased White-beaked Dolphin washed ashore near the bay corner, followed by the expected banter about it bringing in an Ivory Gull in the coming days; well, not quite, but it'll more than do...


With our young male Surf Scoter still in the bay (for more than a month now) as well as up to four Great Northern Divers and a host of commoner stuff, a sunny Sunday was bound to attract another batch of visiting birders - which, after playing a show in Scarborough that night and being a little worse for wear, I was particularly grateful for when one of whom (thanks Tim!) messaged regarding the brief appearance of a juvenile Glauc, amazingly trying to feed on the dolphin....


In the spirit of a) a resolution not to take it quite so seriously this year and b) a hangover, no rush was attempted, lunch was enjoyed, and some time later a stroll along the beach was on the cards anyway (no, really). With masses of visitors and their canine army descending on the beach and Brigg, many of whom would be funnelling along the path where the dolphin was as the tide slowly rolled out, I rated the chances of a revisit from the gull at somewhere around nil and put it to the back of my mind.


Bumping into Dave and Sarah (Aitken) made for a nice surprise and we ambled along the bay chatting, stopping to talk to a few familiar faces along the way - at which point the Glauc appeared over my head, clearly patrolling the scene in the hope of another cetacean snack. Still the chances seemed minimal, as processions of people and dogs filed past or loitered around. After watching the gull circle above us for an eternity and with people unknowingly stood looking at the dolphin (as you would), Dave - armed with his RSPB charm and quietly persuasive disposition - successfully convinced the attendees to back off a little....




Amazingly, a break in the traffic ensued and the gull glided in; and despite inevitable disturbance soon after, not only did it return on several occasions, it photogenically patrolled the Badlands-style geology of the Brigg's south side in the cold winter sunshine. Absolutely class, and a joy to watch....


... more graphic, less appetising photos to follow.