Tuesday, 4 October 2016

A Manxie at Pennington Flash

There was a very unexpected Manx shearwater on Pennington Flash today. It joins a growing list of oceanic species which I have seen at the flash, often in good weather. I remember once watching a Leach's petrel on a balmy July day and thinking it would never be repeated, only to see a second bird a couple of years ago. Then there was the long staying adult Sabine's gull which stayed for most of August last year.

Todays bird was quite tatty looking and and initially was struggling to fly. However after a while it did make it into the air, before flopping back down almost immediately. Over the time I watched it, it appeared to get stronger on each flight, until eventually it flew around the flash for a minute or so before landing again. It was still present when I left, but apparently shortly after it flew around the flash and headed off over the trees near the car park never to be seen again. Hopefully it made it back to the sea.

It didn't appear to be oiled and apart from it's tatty wings it looked reasonably ok.

It had a close encounter with a lesser black backed gull, and I didn't think it was going to make it, especially when another couple of gulls joined in, but it did manage to escape by swimming away low in the water, almost like an otter! The gulls just seem to take their eyes off it and lost it.

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