|My photo was too awful to keep on here, so here's a neat shot kindly provided by Colin Manville|
More gulls gathered as the tide rose and the day went on but there was still no sign of our quarry and we were losing hope. Ian went further down the path to try to find more gatherings of gulls. As I was scanning, my eye was drawn to a first-winter gull, much smaller than the Black-headeds. It had a fine black bill and a grey wash to the nape - I was getting pretty excited and took some shots, one happened to be at the right moment when the bird opened its wings. This revealed a very neat dark trailing edge and a clean white underwing. OK, this was looking very much like a first-winter BONAPARTE'S GULL - a new bird (the one that had been present previously being an adult)!!! I rang Ian and after a few minutes he returned, we double checked it and put the news out. GET IN!!! Fancy that, dipping a rare bird but finding another individual in exactly the same place... and my third lifer of the day and my best ever self found bird!
|showing the characteristic wing|
|grey nape, darker upperparts, thin dark bill and short pink legs visible here|
|good comparison with 1w Black-headed Gull - so much smaller!|