Monday, 28 January 2013

Bonaparte's Gull

Gulls should be easy. I live by the sea, they are all around me and I see them every day. Yet still I struggle to make even simple identifications. Adult Herring, and the Lesser and Greater Black-backed are OK and I think I can now identify adult Common and Ring-billed Gulls but juveniles and anything outside of this group and I am reaching for the guide book. So when I saw a report of a Bonaparte's Gull in Princes Park Eastbourne I decided to head off for a quick look.

I had great plans for the day, an early start, an hour watching the gull, and then perhaps a visit to the Pevensey Levels or one of the other sites around the east of the county. It's never that easy. I was down at Eastbourne early but the bird was nowhere to be seen. Fortunately I found a Little Grebe fishing in a feeder stream and that kept me occupied for a while.

Caught it

Its not giving up without a fight

The fish did not give in easily escaping twice and having to be recaptured by the grebe.

Dinner is finally ready

The Grebe was a nice diversion and there were a few other birders around to talk to but it was still another three hours until the Gull finally turned up at around 12.30. I was lucky, I had just decided to go off and find a bacon sandwich but was called back by a couple of the others.

The weather had started to turn and it looked like rain but the Gull was very obliging and a number of close up shots were possible. These may look like black and white but they were all taken in colour format.

Bonaparte's Gull

Just to prove the pictures were taken in colour

And coloured legs

A grey bird on grey water on a grey day but I was very happy to have gone home having seen and photographed it.

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