Shawell Tip and balancing lakes are only five minutes away from where I live, but a place I rarely visit. With an hour to spare after shopping, I decided to give it a go. The lake next to the tip and quarry on Shawell Lane looked good, but by the time I had parked and got my scope, a man in a bright orange overall had forced the gulls over towards the A5 pools. Retracing, I parked in Newton Lane, got my gear and headed to the A5 viewing area. To get to this viewing area, you take your life in your hands. There is no path, the verges are overgrown with bushes, the road is narrow and large lorries pass at speed within inches of you. It is the only birding place that I feel really unsafe and very vulnerable. Arriving at the unofficial viewing area, it looked good with masses of gulls present and I was confident that I would find something "special". Suddenly, everything took off and the view was like a snowstorm of gulls! The cause? - the man in orange had arrived to repair the pipeline on a tractor! Eventually the gulls returned where I was able to identify the usual suspects including at least two Yellow Legged Gulls, my first this year. The orange clad man reappeared and once again everything was away. I decided to give upand head back to the car for a coffee. I felt like I was trapped, being unable to safely get back onto the road as convoys of lorries hurtled by. Eventually I made it for a well deserved coffee! Should anyone wish to view this area, ensure that your life insurance is up to date! Will I be brave enough to return?
Its snowing gulls!