For a change I had a walk around Clowes wood in the hope of finding a Crossbill flock. (A large portion of hope) and after baiting a fallen tree with bird seed, I only had to wait for 15 minutes before Blue and Great Tits were visiting and carrying of the seed. Then a few Coal Tits arrived.
I was just about to leave when I caught sight of a Nuthatch. After what seemed an age, it, along with another bird finally dropped onto the log and started to dig for the peanuts that I had pushed into the crevices of the tree. I stayed for another 30 minutes before having to leave for home.
Due to the grotty weather this morning, I decided to stay in but a text from Martyn Wilson alerted me to the presence of an Adult Iceland Gull on a small piece of open water on Westbere Lake. I am not an avid fan of Sea gulls, but an Iceland Gull to me is a proper Gull, so dressing for the arctic conditions I made my way down to the lake which is only a mile from my front door. I found on one of the fishing swims at the back of the lake Martyn, and he was in the company of Sue Morton, Brendan Ryan and John
Canttel Canntel Cantillo school teacher John. I was soon onto the Gull, it stuck out like a sore thumb from the other (boring) gulls. A Yellow-legged Gull was also expertly plucked from the hundreds of Gulls on the lake by Brendan, and talk turned to Gull i.d at which point I fell asleep. Also seen on the small ice free patch of water was a drake Golden eye and as we were leaving Martyn pointed out a fine looking drake Smew, a nice bird to see locally. The Iceland Gull seemed to disappear, and try as we did, could not re locate the bird, but I suppose it was still there, hidden in amongst the rest of the gulls. A Bittern flew out of the reeds and over towards the river, and that was about it, which given the poor weather was probably a blessing. It was well worth the hour or so and the effort as it is the first adult Iceland Gull I have seen, my only other a juvenile bird at Dungeness. Thanks to Martyn for the text. I also received a text from Mark Chidwick this morning, telling me of a Slavonian Grebe he was watching at Dover, but the Gull was nearer for me.