Pallas's Gull ~ 1st. W ~ Taranto, Italy - 08.02.15

Wednesday 11 February 2015

With flights booked for another try for the Grey-headed, I kept a daily check on the Italian EBN website for sightings and found that the day before my first visit,  Cristiano Liuzzi on 17th Jan' had found a Pallas's gull in Taranto, 75 miles from the Grey-head !!!!

As the days past by, No further sightings came on the website, so having already had email contact with Andrea Corso, I asked for updates, so I was put in contact with Cristiano who said "It had been seen daily, and last seen on 27th, no further sightings as nobody and looked" 

So it had stuck around for 10 days, we were flying out for the 8th which was 12 days with no news, chances are it was still there !!
It was worth a gamble ...

The morning of the 8th went well with the Grey-headed, but as the weather deteriorated at 13:00 the decision to try for the Pallas's was even easier to make ...
It was a 90 minute drive to the last known location over looking the mussel farms in the bay, after half an hour of searching it wasn't going well.
Some gulls were feeding on fish waste near bins, which didn't have the prize amongst them but started off the direction which we continued with ..

A fisheries yard at the end of Via Delle Fornaci, standing on a metal platform 

40.488079, 17.231751

     Scanning all the floats holding the nets yielded nothing, with a few black-headed gulls about, I spun out some bread, these were joined by a few Yellow-legs and then there it was in flight heading straight for the frenzy ..

I couldn't believe my eyes ...
Not sure where it had come from but was thrilled that it did !!

Although the light wasn't good and with only half a loaf left, the luck ran out quickly and so did the bread, with this the gull flew off  SSW and lost to view ...

Pallas's Gull ~ 1st. W

Taranto as a backdrop

One of the 100's of floats for the mussel nets

It was a crazy 30 minutes with excitement and panic in equal measures as the gull performed well for us ..
If it stays around a bit longer there may be a return visit for this bird, as 30 minutes in mainly poor light just isn't enough ..

Thanks to Andrea & Cristiano for the info ..

Another great weekend trip


Jamie Medford said...

Nice write-up Mick, wish I was there - super bird.

Anthony Green said...

I had the honour of standing next to Cristiano as he made the discovery and rushing off to get the scope for him before it was too late, as we were doing the IWB census at the time and originally had no need for a scope... or so we thought!

chiddy said...

superb mick