The decision regarding the development of an incinerator at Beddington Farmlands will be made in the next few weeks and looks pretty much a done deal. This means the end of the Gull era at Beddington is on the horizon- possibly within five years. That means we've got five years to find an American Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Bonaparte's Gull, Armenian Gull, Great Black-headed Gull etc etc.
With the end in sight it's also an opportunity to reflect on what has been found since tipping commenced (in 1998). Top prize goes to the Glaucous-winged Gull in April 2007 (a first for Britain which had been seen earlier in the west country) and second prize might be another Glaucous-winged Gull- a first-summer bird seen in April 2009 which is still under consideration by the BBRC. Other highlights have included two 'Kumlien's Gulls', three juvenile Sabine's Gulls (together) and a bag full of Caspian Gulls, Iceland Gulls (33 records), Glaucous Gulls (21 records), Yellow-legged Gulls, Mediterranean Gulls, Little Gulls, Kittiwakes and plenty of headaches, hybrids and unknowns.
Here's a few personal highlights:
Second-winter Iceland Gull, one of thirteen Iceland Gulls recorded in the winter of 2011/2012
First-winter Caspian Gull- a Beddington speciality
First-winter Kumlien's Gull, present from November 2011 into 2012
Putative Glaucous-winged Gull/ Pacific hybrid (210409)- still in circulation with the BBRC
Putative Baltic Gull (191211)- can these be 'done' without a ring to confirm?
Adult Mediterranean Gull- a regular winter visitor and post breeding migrant
First-winter Glaucous Gull- a near annual winter visitor
Iceland Gull with Herring and Black-headed Gulls
Adult Yellow-legged Gull (top- with adult Herring Gull)
Adult Caspian Gull (off centre bird)
Juvenile Sabine's Gull, October 2007
and here's the big one that got away -(apart from for two fortunate observers, Garry and Johnny) :
Third-summer Glaucous-winged Gull 180407 (Garry Messenbird)