Thursday, 15 August 2013

Bon Bon!

When Tim Cleeves rang us during the afternoon of 14th to say that, along with Maurice Hepple, they had just been watching an adult Bonaparte's Gull at Cresswell Pond in Northumberland, our first thoughts were that it might be the adult that had been seen around Whitburn and Cleadon (Durham) on 10th and 13th for it hadn't yet been reported that day. However, Tim's comments on the Cresswell adult suggested otherwise, describing it as having a 'full black hood' that looked 'pristine'.

Sure enough once Maurice had returned home, sent some of his images through and allowed us the opportunity to compare them with the video footage of the Durham bird from a few days earlier, shared by Whitburn Observatory stalwart Paul Hindness, it was immediately apparent that the North East is indeed currently hosting two different adults - the Whitburn individual has clearly begun to lose its summer hood, showing extensive white flecking around the face.

Adult Bonaparte's Gull at Cresswell Pond (courtesy and copyright M Hepple)

Bonaparte's Gull, adult, Whitburn Steel (courtesy and copyright P Hindness)

Tim and Maurice watched the Cresswell adult fly off to the south and so far it has not been relocated. Incidentally, the Whitburn/Cleadon individual was last reported on Tuesday so while there are two birds, tracking down either is set to be a challenge.

Thanks to Tim Cleeves, Maurice Hepple and Paul Hindness.

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