16 June 2013

Saunders Gull




An immature Saunders Gull at Yakumo today. Nothing special about the pictures but it was rather a nice find, my first lifer for over a year. There were only a handful of Black Tailed and Slaty Backed Gulls around and at first I dismissed this as a rather late Black Headed Gull (they sometimes hang on until June). I was trying (without success) to get some pics of the fishing Ospreys when it flew over making a noise like a Common Tern...............a big surprise to see this species so far north in Japan and at this time of year too.

June is a handy month for finding these kind of vagrants..................7 years ago I got a Caspian Tern and 4 years ago I got a Gull Billed Tern (the latter also at Yakumo).

It was a strange day, sunny for short periods and then foggy. All the summer stuff was in full voice at Yakumo. Lathams Snipe, Siberian Stonechat, Oriental Reed, Black Browed Reed, Japanese Bush and Grays Grasshopper Warbler, Oriental and Common Cuckoo, Skylark, Chestnut Eared and Black Faced Bunting and Long Tailed Rosefinch were all singing. Other birds around included 2 White Throated Needletail, 2 Intermediate Egret and Little Ringed Plover. A pair of Osprey were fishing, I guess that means the eggs have hatched..............

There were lots of Siberian Stonechat around..............









And lots of these too........................a singing Black Browed Reed Warbler..............


I was hoping to spend a mellow Sunday night drinking cold beer and listening to the cricket. Damn the weather in south Wales................well at least I still have the beer option.
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8 comments:

  1. Very well spotted. I'm afraid I'm blind of gulls. They seem to have all disappeared around here at the moment apart from the odd common gull. I really have to learn more about them. The chats are cuties aand you got some great shots.

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  2. Congrats on the gull and great stonechat shots as usual!

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  3. Thanks for the comments. I can understand why some birders get into 'gulling' as there is always the chance of finding something interesting (especially with all the splits over the last 10 or 15 years). I find the ID of some of the newer splits impossible, especially young birds.

    No problems IDing the Saunders. This one was pretty straightforward...........

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  4. Fantastic find - smart bird too. I love gulls. Stonechats are gorgeous - is it usual for the male to have the hint of eyebrow?

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    1. Hi Stuart, yes I noticed that, never seen it before.....

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  5. Congratulations on the Saunders' ! It must have felt great to pull a "lifer" out of a mass of gulls.

    The Stonechats are looking very handsome, too.

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    1. Hi John, actually there were only a few gulls which makes this one turing up even more surprising.......

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  6. Well done on spotting the Saunder's Gull Stu. I think your pictures of Siberian Stonechats are just brilliant.

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