Sunday, 20 May 2012

Barking Bay - Bonapartes Gull

Its been an eventful weekend; after missing out on getting over to Barking for Saturday morning and then the Bonapartes Gull not being seen for a while i took a trip over Ingrebourne Valley where it has to be said the results were unblogable.

Attempt 1: So i took the decision to go over to Barking Bay anyway and confirm to myself that it wasnt there. At this time i wasn't aware of the significance of this bird and if truth be told i thought there wouldnt be that many there. I was wrong and soon realised that i neednt have bothered going at this time to confirm its abscense as along the bay there were a group of a lot more experienced birders than i who could all adequatley confirm it wasnt to be seen.

We hung around for a while and as people started to disperse i headed off further into the bay for a look about as i had spoke with Paul H last week and told him i would go over at some point. I got my first self found Common Sandpiper at the very far end along with Ringed Plover and a 2012 year tick in the form of Common Tern. More common types of mixed gull were to be found here: GBBGx1, LBBG, BHG and a few Herring. The tide was in at this time and the only bit of mud to be found was at this end hence finding the plover and sandpiper along with quite a few Shelduck here.

Reed Warbler in the cemex ditch, lots of Skylark in the scrub and Meadow Pipit seem to be favouring the works area.

Attempt 2: Came later that night with another great timed visit; arriving just after 7pm missing it by about 10 minutes.

Attempt 3: Arriving this morning there was already a smallish group on both sides of the river; phone calls going back and forth in a cooperated hunt. Finally the bird was found by the Kent side drifting down mid river towards us and soon views were had by all there. Our group then spilt with four of us heading further along the bank to get a little closer. We then stayed on the bird for a little longer but a small sail ship seemed to put it to flight where it was lost.

Kent side refound the bird again on the shore Essex side but this time two jetties up along from the bay. Our small group had been joined by another and we headed on up river past the outfall pipes and under the first jetty where we stopped and the Bonaprtes was found again by the next jetty. We were some way off but didnt want to get any closer.

Finally the bird took flight heading up river towards the Stone Barges and then eventually Rainham RSPB. From what i can gather its now back at Barking (4.37pm).

A token 1W Bonapartes Gull courtesy of and Ken Kaufman

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