Saturday, 16 January 2016

Herts Mega! - 9.1.16

Bonaparte's Gull
With the news that the Bonaparte's Gull had been seen at the end of the previous day I decided to get to Wilstone for first light. Expecting the car park to be full I pulled in to find numerous spaces! I walked around to the jetty where I joined Ian Williams, Mike Illet and Lawrence Drummond. As the light improved the gulls piled in from their roost but no sign of our target. Just then Ian got a call from Dave Bilcock that he had it by the new overflow but it was flying our way. Nervous scanning of the flock of gulls saw nothing until all of a sudden I found it and shouted I've got it! I got everyone else on it and then for an hour or so the bird showed to the growing crowd. The who's who of Herts birding were on site enjoying this mega but just after 10 it took off towards the fields north of Miswell Farm. It did come back much to the relief of the new comers. This was only my 2nd in the UK after an adult at Pagham Lagoon in 2002.

After filling my boots with the gull I walked back to car with the intention of walking all the way round but a looming rain shower made me change my mind and so I headed to Startops. From the hide I spied my first Snipe of the year but then walked in my mate Bob Harris who had been watching the Scaup which was a county tick for him. His face was a picture when I mentioned the Bonaparte's Gull as what I hadn't realised was that he'd sent his pager off to be refurbished! We walked around Tringford but I left him to wander over to Wilstone as I took my time at Tringford. Once I'd finished there I walked back around Startops and bumped back into Bob who said he'd caught up with the gull which was good. I decided to head home for a cuppa. A great day.

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