Monday, 2 July 2012

Startops Sabines

I visited Pitstone Hill in the middle of the county yesterday.
Mainly because there had been four calling Quail there earlier in the week that had even ventured to show themselves on more than one occaision, also because I needed Corn Bunting for my year list and also to see what Butterflies were around.
 Well I dipped on the Quails but Corn Buntings were quite numerous. The Butterfly situation this year though seems desperate, with half a dozen Meadow Browns and a single Small Skipper the only ones seen. It seems this wet spring has had disasterous effects as this place is normally alive with various varieties.
 I decided not to visit the Tring Reservoirs as I normally do when in this part of the world but instead chose to have a look for the Ring-necked Parakeet that resides in the Southcott Village area of Leighton Buzzard - another fruitless exercise.

 When I got home I saw that a Little Gull had been reported at Startops Reservoir and reflected that would have been nice to see especially as it was frequenting the Bucks section - Oh Well !

 The big surprise today though was finding out that the bird in question was actually an adult winter plumaged Sabines Gull !! Someone had photographed it and forwarded the photos on to Lee Evans who i.d'd it as Sabines.
 Amazingly the bird was still present today, so a trip after work saw me watching my first ever Buckinghamshire Sabines Gull. A super bird that flew elegantly over the water picking insects off of the surface, often interacting with the local Common Terns and several times coming so close that it seemed possible to touch it.

Sabines Gull

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