March 2006

At least 2 red kites between Didcot and Reading, from the London train, 31 March.

Another interesting gull - this second winter ring-billed gull was at Chew on 30th March. Click on the image for more photos.

ring-billed gull

Also present were ring-necked duck, swallows, and sand martins.

A bedraggled white stork turned up near Wick on the Brean road on 25th. It fed in a field only about 70m from the road, giving good views in the pouring rain. To see more images, click the photo. The great bustard was still with the mute swans nearby.

white stork

On 19th I went to the Asda pond in Frome to see the first-winter BONAPARTE'S GULL. The lake is new, and was built to mitigate against the development of a new superstore. The bird had left 15 mins before I arrived, but the wait for its return was worth it. Other birds on site included a pair of garganey, a male little ringed plover, kingfisher, grey wagtail, and a lesser redpoll overhead.



little ringed plover

little ringed plover

The Bonaparte's gull returned at about 14.15h. In flight, the underwing showed the diagnostic transluscent 'hand' and black bar along the tips of the primaries and secondaries (contrast with the black-headed gull beneath it). For more photos, click on the image below.

Bonaparte's gull

Local birds included a nuthatch in Ashton Court on 11th, and female greater scaup and ring-necked duck at Chew Valley Lake on the same day. A little egret flew over Cambridge Batch on 8th. Up to 4 goshawks could be seen at the same time at New Fancy View in the Forest of Dean on 4th. I saw diving birds twice, and on one occasion a pair were displaying in the air together. I heard crossbills flying past, and also saw a peregrine, 2 ravens, buzzards and a kestrel.