Thursday, 5 July 2012


Well a pleasant day's weather for a change today with some warm sunshine and just a gentle breeze.  However the cloud has been bubbling all day and it is apparently to be wet again tomorrow.  This afternoon I made a cheeky excursion with two friends south out of the county to Startops End reservoir on the Bucks/Herts border (one of the famous Tring reservoirs).  This was in order to see a first year Sabine's Gull which has been present since Sunday.  The reservoir is very small and this small pelagic gull often afforded close views.  Together with my two colleagues I endeavoured to take some photos but my poor technical skills in changing light, reflection from the water and every other excuse I can think of prevented me from clinching the killer shot!   However the bird itself was grace itself (I am a self confessed gull addict), with the buoyant and agile flight (somewhere between Kittiwake and Little Gull), fabulous gun metal grey inner upper wing, blackish primaries with four gleaming tips, shallow-forked tail and dark bill (with just a hint of yellow on the top of the lower mandible).  It was in good condition and seemed to feeding mostly on insects over and on the water's surface but did actually come and try some bread that someone threw down for it!  Other birds present included a Red-crested Pochard, Red Kite and several Grey Wagtails.  TTFN

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