Monday, 31 March 2014

Cardiff Bay - Bonaparte's Gull

The highlight of this tour was of course a visit to see Gemma in Swansea :-) As she was busy until the early evening, I had to find something to do en-route? Well, with Cardiff Bay and a good chance of Bonaparte's Gull (2 were seen the previous day) it had to be worth a go.....

After a fruitless call and 15 mins wasted at Cardiff yacht club (doh) I crossed the estuary to Cardiff Bay yacht club and found the parking area adjacent to it where local birders had been viewing the bay. It took 30 mins or so but eventually with a couple of local we were on the one and only Bonaparte's Gull remaining :-) Problem was - it was at least 400m away and strictly distant scope views! I could see it was working a line with other Black-headed Gulls not too far from the far bank - accessible via the Barrage - another short drive was indicated.....


There were at least four cranes on the far bank too! :-)


Down to business and here's some representative record shots......

Sorting out the Boney from the Black heads was fairly easy! A much whiter head with contrasting more prominent ear spot plus darker grey upperparts made it stand out....


The neat trailing black edge to the primaries was also clear, even at distance.


Plus the translucent outer primaries....



Putting it all together here - plus the black bill and flesh pink legs!


Whilst most insects were plucked from the water surface - quite a few came from aerial pursuit!






The most difficult aspect to capture was the upperwing pattern - just about managed here...


Against the buildings, an elegant gull indeed!




 With rain starting to fall late afternoon, it was time top wrap up a great two hour session which produced two Little Gulls (adult and 1st winter). Here's the distant adult, nicely flushed pink .....




Not a bad image of another fly over 100m distant :-)


Plus two Med Gulls (2nd and 1st Winter) Here's the 1st winter...



 off to Swansea and a tasty Italian meal :-)

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