Saturday, 4 May 2019

A pretty little Russian Duck and a little American Gull

Yesterday I made the local trip out to Abberton with Jim and we managed to find the five White-winged Terns and our first Swifts of 2019. The weather wasn't great and despite a couple of hours of scanning we failed to locate the reported Bonaparte's Gull. We did find the Channel Wagtail and several bog standard Yellow Wags along with a LRP, a Greenshank and at least seven Whimbrel. A pair of Garganey and a SEO were seen by others but we didn't put much effort into finding these .

White-winged Terns at Abberton
Today we travelled further north to March Farmers and found the car park with ease and took the short walk along the raised bank to view the washes. Another birder was already here and had seen the teal so that was a big encouragement having dipped it at Ouse washes on Tuesday. That was the good news but the bad news was he'd lost it as we walked down so our search began. We were joined by a few more tick chasers and after about half an hour I spotted the head of the target and we managed to eventually pin it down and get good scope views in what was a horribly strong and cold north wind which made holding the scope still difficult.

The sensible guys getting low out of the wind

After connecting with the Baikal Teal we made our way south stopping at Abberton to have another go at the Bonaparte's Gull and this time we got lucky as the bird sat on the Island in front of Island Hide to take a rest from the ridiculous weather. (Patchy greyish head, slender black bill, pink legs, slightly smaller than the Black-headed gulls and the "dirt" on the wings a little darker than the Black heads.) Whilst in the hide we had at least four White-wingers again and a first summer Little Gull added to the spectacle.  It was nice to bump into Dave B who was busy counting the c200 Swifts. Before we left the Channel Wagtail gave the chance of grabbing a couple of images.

Channel Wagtail
Channel Wagtail
Channel Wagtail

Bonaparte's Gull 
First summer Bonaparte's Gull with a first summer Black-headed Gull

Year list now 239 

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