Monday, 29 July 2013

GANNET GARDEN TICK!!!! - 27.7.13

3 photos of the Gannet. Thanks Sam for permission.

The day was spent viewing 3 properties in the nearby vicinity but none of which ticked many boxes and so back at home in Chipperfield we spent a couple of hours slobbing around watching crap telly counting down the hours until Carey's parents came round to go out for her dads birthday. After my shower I got changed and sat on the sofa looking out of the window wondering if the predicted heavy rain would ever arrive when all of a sudden a large bird flew into view as it passed over the flat heading SW. HOLY S**T IT'S A GANNET!! I jumped up and grabbed my bins from the desk a couple of feet away and got onto the bird. My heart at this point was beating so hard with excitement that I was shaking! Couple this with looking through double glazing at a miserable dark grey sky and getting plumage detail on it was pretty tricky. Initial views led me to believe it was an adult but just then the intercom went off. It was Carey's parents! I rushed to let them in but by then the bird was about half way to disappearing. Thankfully it casually circled a couple of times allowing me some better views and being able to note darker feathering along the wings and and tail with a hint of creamy yellow on the head. Given that Gannet isn't exactly common in Herts and even when I do see them at sea I don't give them much time I would guess at a probable 3rd summer bird? But whatever it's age it was a Gannet on the garden list. WOW! 10 seconds later and it flew out of view behind the houses opposite. Within 3 minutes i'd put the news out on Twitter and once all the birthday cards and presents had been opened I quickly posted on the Herts Yahoo group of my sighting. Annoyingly where I live the mobile phone signal is worse than useless and the fact that we were already running late for dinner meant that was as much news disemination as I could manage. Once down in nearby Kings Langley I recieved signal followed by a flurry of twitter messages and texts. I had a sneaky look and was amazed to see that Samuel Perfect had been out birding a mile or so down the road and had not only seen the Gannet 3 minutes before me but he had managed 3 record photos of the bird (see above). I wasn't hallucinating after all!! After last years run of Herts ticks this was my first this year. The following day it or another Gannet (being ID'd as a sub-adult) was seen near Staines Reservoir,Surrey and Wraysbury GP's, Berkshire.

A link to Sam's blog can be found in the Blogs I follow list.

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