Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bonaparte's Gull and a week around Sennen Cove

Had a really good week in Cornwall. Started off dipping the Scarlet Tanager but bumped into Mike Edgecombe who joined up with us on the Azure Tit twitch in Finland. Found 2 Yellow-browed Warblers, 3 Firecrests and a few other things like Water Rail and Short-eared Owl. There was also a good passage of skuas (Great, Arctic and Pomarine) in the early part of the week and a Great Northern Diver in the bay at the end.

The icing on the cake though came just as we were packing to go. I noticed a chap at the bus stop opposite the house taking a photo and went over to him. He said he'd just found an adult Bonaparte's Gull and sure enough there it was. I went back to get scope and camera and got these shots although the scope is badly damaged at the moment (off for repair next week). I'd been checking the gulls in front of the house all week so I guess if it had turned up on any other morning I might have found it. As it is it was only present for about an hour so I'm glad to have got it at all.

Note the small black bill, darker back and grey nape compared with Black-headed Gull. It also had pale pink legs and relatively plain white underside to the primaries.

Bonaparte's Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia, adult with first winter Mediterranean Gull Ichthyaetus melanocephalus

Bonaparte's Gull Chroicocephalus philadelphia, adult with Black-headed Gulls Chroicocephalus ridibundus

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and (broken) Leica APO77 x20

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