Oh what an evening this turned out to be! The day started out grey and rainy, and the poor weather continued during the day. But when I decided to head out to do some birdwatching it had changed from rain to light snow. When I started to drive towards Hotellneset and Vestpynten I was hoping that the mild weather had brought with it some migrants or other interesting birds. While driving through the puddles and the holes in the road I was dreaming of beauties as Ross' Gull (Rosenmåke) and Spectacled Eider (Brilleærfugl). But dont worry, none of them appeared! I was also hoping to maybe see the Golden Plover (Heilo) that I saw briefly some days ago, and this one did show up! A beautiful adult male of the race 'altifrons', "Northern" Golden Plover. I first took a few record shots of it through the window on the passenger side, but was crossing my fingers that it would stay in the area when I returned with the driver-side towards the bird for better pictures. Going back I stopped briefly for a record shot of a pair of King Eiders (Praktærfugl) that were sleeping on the sea, and started scanning for the plover. When I had given up on finding it in this location, I became aware of a movement twenty meters from the car. There it was! I drove fifteen meters along the road, and it stayed where it was! During the next fifteen minutes I took probably 200 pictures of the bird when it fed about ten to fifteen meters from the car. I was very happy when I drove towards town, and it was just on pure habit that I stopped to check an apparent Glaucous Gull (Polarmåle) for color ring, and I had to look twice to make sure that my impression was correct. This had to be a Iceland Gull (Grønlandsmåke)! Or.....? The bird flew off when I had just gotten a couple of record shots of it, and the pictures seemed to head towards Iceland, but it had to be a big male if it was. I looked towards where the bird flew, and I managed to see where it sat down, and there was another gull sat next to it that made me even more certain of the species. I reversed the car very slowly so that I could get alongside the two, and incredibly enough....they stayed! I shifted between photographing both of them, and checked the pictures. This was something I had wanted to see since last summer! I was sitting twenty meters from a pair of Iceland Gulls! They were calling to each other, and were obviously a couple. With any luck I will find them in a few months on nest with eggs or chicks. My new camera really got to test itself now! Snow in the air, snow on the ground, poor light and very light-colored birds. I can highly recomend the Nikon D300s after this day! At an ISO-value of 1250 it took good pictures! I hope that you who read this will enjoy the pictures almost as much as I enjoyed taking them.
Brownsea Island - Stilt Sandpiper 17/12/17.
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