I decided to pay a visit to Melbourne Pool on 10th February 2021. It was a glorious morning, plenty of snow, clear blue skies, ideal for some local photography. The pool is only a 10 minute walk from where I live.
The pool was around half frozen over, with several large areas of open water. A fair few local Black-headed Gulls and a few Common Gull were sat on the distant ice. Whilst scanning the gulls I then heard the distinctive piping call of an Oystercatcher and suddenly three birds were in courtship display chasing each other around the pool. They settled on the wall just below the entrance area, so I decide to wander back and try and get a photo. The light was tricky and whilst crawling my way towards them I heard another distinctive call, Pink-footed Geese. Scanning the bright blue sky, I managed to locate several skeins, around c140 altogether, flying over and heading in a westerly direction. The second time this winter I’ve observed this species here and heading in a similar direction.
After a few photos of Coot, Woodpigeon, Black-headed Gull, Moorhen and Oystercatcher, I then noticed a large gull sat on the water in the middle of the pool. I wandered round to get closer and better light and was amazed to see a near adult Caspian Gull. A rare sight of this East European gull and to my knowledge the first time one has been recorded at Melbourne Pool. I managed some record shots and then got distracted by a member of the public asking a few questions. By the time the conversation had finished and I looked back to locate the Caspian Gull, the bird had disappointingly vanished. So an interesting few hours and one or two excellent records and a nice selection of photos in the snowy conditions.