Eastern White Winger


With a couple of rarities hanging around Great Yarmouth for a few days and an opportunity to catch up with them I headed towards the East coast. The first rarity was a lesser Yellow legs which has been staying around the huge expanses of Breydon water. A small brown wading bird can be tricky to locate at the best of times but some helpful twitter guidance sent me straight to the East end at high tide when thousands of birds are flocked together.

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Lesser Yellow legs Credit: K Schneider via Compfight cc

The bird had been seen an hour before but I guess it was hunkered down against the wind which whipped across the estuary shaking bones and my telescope. There were plenty of birds but no Sign of the Yellow legs not even amongst the redshanks who it appears to prefer as company. There were thousands of wigeon, golden plover, hundreds of curlew, lapwing  and black tailed godwit and dozens of avocet with some teal and pintail for good measure.

Having failed with target number one I nipped into ASDA grabbed a couple of bags of hot cross buns and headed to target number two, who I thought might appreciate the early taste of Easter. My first missed target was an American visitor way out of his usual haunts on the wrong coast of the UK but the next one is more expected albeit scare visitor at this time of year hailing from Siberia or thereabouts a Glaucous gull. The bird had been sighted at the waterways a listed ornamental garden dating from Victorian times which was a little more barren than during its Victorian Summer heydays.

GY Waterways

The locals consisted of a few mallard some more agricultural ducks and a host of feral pigeons and black headed gulls and a few young herring gulls. Having not knowingly seen a ‘Gluac’ before I was a little concerned I might miss it amongst the maelstrom of frenzied gulls tucking into my hot cross buns. I needn’t have worried it was huge beautiful and outclassed its company in power, grace and aerial capabilities.

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Although the gull is an immature version it dwarfed the herring gulls (Standing in the background above. When it was in the air the clean wings and tail were also obvious on this young ‘white winger’

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Whilst the light in the slightly damp afternoon didn’t make ideal conditions for photography the bird spent plenty of time sitting close enough for a few pictures to remember my first sighting by.

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Unlikely to be troubled by the Black headed gulls around him or the usual heavy weights at the park the herring gull (top right).

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Young herring Gull wishing he was bigger

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Glaucous gull looking huge and impressive

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