Saturday, 6 August 2011


Yesterday evening, I was just starting to get myself ready for a night of Storm Petrel Ringing when I got a phone call from Steve. One of my absolute bogey birds, a Bonapartes Gull, had been found in a ploughed field near Whitburn Coastal Park. Damn! I have always struggled to see this bird, and was trying my hardest not to build my hopes up as I got in the car and set off. Sure enough, as I pulled up at said field I was informed by both Steve and Peter Hogg that the bird had flew off just 10 minutes before I arrived. Like myself they had also both arrived too late. This was entirely typical of my experiences with this species. After hanging around for around 20 minutes in the hope the bird might return, Steve decided he would head home. But just at that moment Hoggies phone went off. The bird had been re-found at Whitburn Steel. I cant put into words how quickly the three of us jumped into our cars and sped off! It literally took minutes for us to get to the Steel and thankfully Chris Bell was still there watching the bird. And there it was, on the sea right in front of us. AT LAST!!!! We all couldnt believe how close in it was. We enjoyed a fair few minutes observing the gull before we started phoning around and getting the news out. That done we could concentrate fully on watching the bird. Steve managed to get a couple of thousand photos off, including the two seen here and eventually everyone went home happy. Well, except myself, John and Walter. We headed further up the coast to set the nets up for a night of Petrel catching (we were also joined by Phil). Unfortunately the weather wasnt great and we packed up a little early as the Storm Petrels were just bouncing off the nets.

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