Friday, 19 July 2013

A Whiz Round....

....and a local twitch.

I'm not sure an hour at Conder Green on Wednesday qualifies as 'a whiz round' but I had a little time to spare so shot off there and collected some records which will make the post sound like an old record needle stuck on an old record player, but that's birding, 'seek and ye shall find'....but not always something new.

Little Grebe Noushka Dufort 

The Spotted Redshank was again on Conder Pool, nestled in and roosting with around 60 Redshank, some of the juveniles of which do a remarkable impersonation of the Wood Sandpiper....beware. The smart Little Grebe in it's summer dress was also seen on the pool again, along with the 2 Wigeon drake and Goldeneye. Two Greenshank were in the creeks, and my count of at least 10 Common Sandpiper here is still in tact, but if past records are anything to go by the number will increase in time with 21 seen last year on 23 July.

It may have lasted an hour, but if that's not 'a whiz round' I don't know what is!

And the local twitch....

Bonaparte's Gull Wild Bird Gallery 

An  adult summer plumage  Bonaparte's Gull  was found  at Heysham  on Saturday  13 July, the latest I have on the bird as I write is that it was still present last night - Thursday - at 8.30pm.

I timed a visit to Heysham to coincide with the tide and set the challenge to find the Bonaparte's Gull for myself and avoided the approach to a lone birder already there to ask of its whereabouts. I failed miserably and after about 30 minutes asked the guidance of another birder now on site, the bird was now resting with head tucked in. Its all very well referring to this gull as small, dainty, and a 'miniature Back-headed Gull, but I found this bird resting, at best 'tricky' and at worst a 'nightmare' to identify. The ID of Bonaparte's Gull alive and alert is a different story, in flight it differs from Black-headed Gull at all ages, its pale underwing stands out well and has a white leading edge to the outer wing making my life a much easier one. 

The Bonaparte's Gull is smaller than all other North American hooded gulls, and is unusual with it's tree-nesting habit. Departure from breeding grounds has loose flocks moving along river systems but can often form large concentrations with - for example - peak figures of up to 60,000 at Niagara Falls in October. 

My thanks to Noushka Dufort and Martin Lofgren for the excellent images, they are much appreciated.  


Warren Baker said...

At least you got to see the thing Pete! :-)

Adam said...

cool grebe