Friday, July 14, 2006

2006, part II

I resumed birding last evening following the long intermission that is the bleak birding period of June and early July. Alec and I visited Llandegfedd Reservoir in the hope of spotting the Sabine's gull that has been around for a day or two. We arrived at the north car park, with a couple of other birders just making their way out to the north east corner of the reservoir, Green Pool. A pleasant walk through a meadow area was rewarded with plenty of butterflies on the wing - mostly meadow browns, a few marbled whites, a couple of skippers and possibly a few ringlets too. Paul and Matt from GBC were making their way back to the car park and confirmed the bird was still there among a small black-headed gull roost. Having set the 'scope up I was put on to the bird by the small group of birders who were already there. It was a little distant, but it was just possible to see the yellow-tipped bill and the shape of the hood as it sat on the mud bank. A grey heron and a couple of little ringed plovers were present too. After about ten minutes or so it took flight, and I lost sight of it. A few observers speculated the age of the bird, with the consensus appearing to be that it was in fact a 2nd or 3rd year bird in partial moult. Frankly, I didn't see it well enough to have an opinion. I later relocated it flying in front of the dam at the far south of the reservoir. These were distant views but it was possible to see the distinctive wing markings that separate this species from the crowd. All in all, not entirely satisfying views of this species, but another tick nevertheless.


Tim Hall said...

May go at the weekend, saw the juv at Chew last year, and stood about 6 feet from a juv on Teesside in 2000, on Saltburn beach.

Wayne said...

Its a nice bird. Wish I'd had better views.

Interesting photos at Darryl Spittle's Gwent Birding

There's just the merest hint of a yellow-tip to the bill.