I decided to go straight for the laughing gull the day after the news broke. I was confident I would not see it, and so it turned out, as the bird was there 20 mins before I arrived and then turned up an hour after I left but not through the 4 hours that I was there.
Having said that, I had a fantastic days birding mainly due to a rather impressive wader roost on the pontoons. I say impressive, but I have never seen one on a man made structure, and never this close. There was also an impressive diversity within the roost. At first glance it looked to be made up of Redshanks and Turnstones. There was a rather distinct pale Sanderling right at the front which stood out like a sore thumb. Next birds I spotted were a group of my favourite none snipe waders, Purple Sandpipers. Having not had a good view of this species for so long I was thrilled to be able to see these right down in front of me. I was even able to get some reasonable photos though they did spend most of their time asleep. Filtering through the masses I picked out another wader species, in a lovely Knot. When it was asleep (Most of the time) it was difficult to separate from the Redshanks, but one it looked up it stoop out rather nicely. But the flock still had another species. The final species was a Dunlin which must have steadily made its way to the front of the pack before I noticed it. It was great to see so many species all in the same space and all so close.
-Knot and Sanderling
And it was not a complete loss for gulls either, as there was a stunning adult Mediterranean Gull around, which flew right over the heads of the massed twitchers, its white wings looking smashing in the sunshine. I only managed a couple of shots as I spent most of its appearances admiring the beauty of the wings. It really was a smashing bird.
So no laughing gull, but since it seems to have stuck I may give it another go at some point. I had a fantastic days birding. And on the way back I even spotted a fox sunbathing on the rail banking. What a great day!
New Brighton: Feral Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Sanderling, Turnstone, Redshank, Cormorant, Mediterranean Gull, Carrion Crow, Purple Sandpiper, Knot, Black-Headed Gull, Dunlin, Common Gull, Oystercatcher, Starling, Greater Black-Backed Gull, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Collard Dove,