Having nothing planned for today, and reading in bird reports that the North American Bonaparte's Gull is still hanging around at Oare Marsh I thought I would go on a twitch, not far. Some people think twitching is going a fair distance to see a bird, but really twitching can be anything from going 50 yards down the road, to 500 or more miles away. I sum twitching up as "Going to see someone elses bird."
Pam and I arrived at Oare at about 1.45pm. I was expecting there to be more people there than there was. We managed to get parked up in the lay-by half way down the road. There was one car behind us and when I got out I went and asked these 2 birders if they had seen the gull, back came the answer "No" I got myself settled and started looking through the B/H/Gulls because that is where it has been spending most of it's time. I spent about 40 minutes looking, on and off while checking out the other birds and when I had another scan through the gulls at 2.30pm I found it, the BONAPARTE'S GULL. I was pretty certain this was it straight away. I did the basics before we left home and read up on it in the bird guide books, and also how it differed from the B/H/Gull. I also had my field guide at hand while there.
My I.D was confirmed when it sat up and preened, black head, shorter blackish bill, grey upper parts, and slightly smaller that the B/H/Gull ( The last time I saw one was 2013 and that was here at Oare Marsh ).The 2 guys next to me was happy when I got them onto it. It made me feel good a little while later when someone asked them if it was about, and one of them said "Yes, that gentleman there found it". It wasn't because he said I found it, it was because I got called "A gentleman"........WOW!
While looking for it among the gulls I noticed a B/H/Gull with a yellow ring on it's left leg with 2FPX on it. I will send this off to find out it's history. Another nice sighting was a beautiful Mediterranean Gull.
It was a good afternoon for the birds to feed, the water was full of Black Tailed Godwits, a good number of Avocet plus there was 2 Grey Heron's fishing out in the deepest parts, each of them on one occasion caught a eel, and there was 3 Little Egrets feeding in the shallows.
In the short time I was here I saw the following species:
Cormorant, Mute Swan, Grey Heron, Little Egret,
Greylag Geese, Coot, Moorhen, Marsh Harrier(f), Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveller, Shelduck, Tufted Duck, Lapwing, Avocet, Black Tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Bonaparte's Gull, B/H/Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Common Tern, Swift, Swallow, Skylark, Starling, W/Pigeon, C/Dove, C/Crow, Magpie,
My "Bird of the Day" today is a no brainer, it can only be the ** BONAPARTE'S GULL.**