This is no Farmoor, Otmoor or Port Meadow. This is Grimsbury. It's Grim up north!

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Sunday, 2 August 2015

02nd Aug 2015: Mediterranean Gull

Clive Payne had a Hobby fly over this morning but didn't report much else other than the two Little Grebes at the Borrow Pit pool.

This evening I went up to see if the south easterly winds had brought anything with them, knowing there had been a few Black Terns around I was feeling optimistic. The first thing I noticed on arrival was that there seemed to be a lot of gulls flying around. There hasn't been that many around yet but there were around 20 just over the car park catching flying insects - probably flying ants. As I got to the reservoir there were hundreds of gulls, definitely the most there has been so far this summer. I estimated around 200 Black-headed Gulls and 15 Lesser Black-backs on the water and at least another 100 Black-headed Gulls flying around. As I scanned around I saw a tight flock of around 70 Swifts also but much much higher.

It's these kind of gatherings that have had Mediterranean Gulls with them in the past and there could even have been Little Gull or something more interesting. I scanned through the gulls several times and couldn't find anything different. I was just about to leave and I thought I'd have one more look and the third or fourth bird I looked at was a Med Gull. An adult, but not so smart as it was starting to moult. I was happy to find it and happy my prediction paid off! Annoyingly as I turned away from taking pictures of the gull, I noticed a passerine on the fence right in front of me, a second before it flew off. I watched it fly over the reservoir and land on top of a Hawthorn near the northern end. It was only there around 20 seconds before it flew over towards the railway. From what I saw (jizz of the bird and what appeared to be a orangey/red breast), my gut feeling is that it was a Redstart, but I have no way of really being sure of that.

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