Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Bonaparte's Gull, Heysham

Bonaparte's Gull 1 adult moulting into non-breeding plumage
Little Gull 1 2nd winter
Mediterranean Gull 10+ various plumages including adult and juvenile.
Curlew 200
Oystercatcher 1000

Year 221 (Bonaparte's Gull)

Finally today I caught up with the long staying Bonaparte's Gull at Heysham. It's only been there since before I went to the Hebrides, so it's about time you might say. Today it was sitting on the rocks at Red Nab, right below the nuclear power station and it was a pretty decent view. It's now moulting out of summer plumage and has a speckled head instead of a black hood, and already clearly has the diagnostic grey neck. This was my 5th Bonaparte's Gull.

Around one of the outfalls I saw a Little Gull. In most respects it was like a non-breeding adult, with dark underwing and very white upperwing, but it had a few dark shafts on its primaries, making it a 2nd winter bird. Apparently there has been up to 30 Mediterranean Gulls at this site recently, and I didn't really spend too much time counting them, but I saw at least 10 individuals.


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