Wednesday 18 May 2022

Early Bonaparte's

First-summer Bonaparte's Gull (right) - Duck Pond.

I had a quick look off the seafront first thing but could only manage a single Great Northern Diver. I then tried to track down the Bonaparte's Gull as the tide slowly crept in, picking it up off Mudbank, briefly, before it moved into the Duck Pond area. I watched it until about 7am, when I had to leave to get ready for work.
Also in the estuary - the 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese still, 15 Turnstones and 3 Dunlin.
Lu and I went for a walk on Withycombe Raleigh Common, after work, where a fly-over Red Kite was noted. Nearby, at Bystock Pool, a drake Tufted Duck still, and a confiding Spotted Flycatcher. The Cuckoo could be heard calling distantly, possibly over towards Squabmoor.
Got soaked this evening, fully expecting more views of the Bonaparte's but sadly it wasn't to be. Some compensation with a Little Tern, 6 Sandwich Terns, 2 first-summer Mediterranean Gulls, c40 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 15 Whimbrel and a Peregrine. The first-summer Yellow-legged Gull spent the evening at the recycling centre and adjacent rugby pitch. Despite the Bonaparte's 'no show' it was lovely to see Mark, Dave, Andy, Tom and Paul.

I made a right mess of photographing the underwing but this shot at least shows that bright, white underside to the primaries - the easiest to way to pick out a Bonaparte's Gull at a distance.

Third from left with Black-headed Gulls.

Red Kite - Withycombe Raleigh Common.

Common Blue.

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