Monday, 7 May 2007

Bonaparte's Gull, Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon.

With the Bonaparte's Gull still present at Farmoor reservoir, Oxon, I made my way over to see it. On arrival I made my way to the reservoir gate office to show my Thames Water Pass and was told the Gull was still present in the SW corner of F2. As I walked around the F2 basin towards the South-West corner a good numbers of Swift, Swallow, House & Sand Martins were busy feeding over the water along with Common Terns.
The Bonaparte's Gull was in a small group of Black-headed Gulls near the SW corner and showed well while sat on the water, it spent much of the time feeding on insects on the waters surface, facing into the wind whilst flying and then dropping down and picking them off the water. This 1st Summer bird was first reported on the 1st May and this is my first ever sighting of this rare North American Gull. It is the American equivalent of the Black-headed Gull but smaller and a more delicate looking bird, it has a smaller and finer all-black bill and in summer the hood turns black rather than the chocolate brown of the Black-headed Gull.
Looking through the Terns I spotted at least 1 Arctic Tern feeding over the F2 basin with the Common Terns.
Driving back through Hambleden a singing Common Whitethroat appeared at the top of a hedge and allowed me to watch it from the car before it flew across the road and into undergrowth.

Added To My Year List
139. Bonaparte's Gull
140. Arctic Tern
141. Common Whitethroat

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