The Ibsley Water gull roost has delivered the goods the last 2 evenings, with a Caspian gull on Monday and yesterday the Franklin’s gull turned up again. Monday was a fairly large roost of gulls, mainly lesser black-backed and black headed, involving perhaps 6000 birds, last night seemed to have fewer birds.
The Franklin’s gull was located at around 3.30 pm seemingly simultaneously by birders from both Lapwing hide and Tern hide. It was originally at the northern end of the lake nearer the Lapwing hide, swimming amongst the other gulls and was really difficult to pick out from the mass of birds. It then took off and then landed slightly nearer to Tern hide. It was still distant and in very poor light, I managed the terrible picture below.
This bird is the second Hampshire record of this North American species, the first being in 1970. Where it has been since it was originally found on October the 17th, by local birding legend Rob Hume, is anyone’s guess. The hide was absolutely packed with birders yesterday, I’ve never seen it so busy, but it was really disappointing that the hide donation box remained totally empty!