Friday, 4 September 2009



upton warren

had another one of those dying txts from brian stretch late thurday night about a adult sabines gull that had roosted at the flashes,i only though one thing it'll be gone by tomorow mouning,awoke friday mouning to the news of it still at the flashes but flew off about 4 hours before i even awoke,it flew north so i thought it wasent migrating south which could buy some time.i just hoped it would stick untill saturday.after hearing no news that night i came the conclusion it had gone.

it was only at about midday the next day i heard it again roosted last night.from the earlswood job(for some reason i didnt wright them in my records book so,nothing from earlswood today).we had just finished cutting the hedge when i recived some more news on a juv mediteranian gull at the flashes and within an hour we were there(it only takes 20 mins from earlswood but we had other things to do).as all the news was coming from the flashes i decided to get down there,on walking by the bench there was andy warr looking over the flashes through the gap.he said the med gull was only showing from the hide so we went up there.i was immediatly put onto the med gull which was an upton tick

it shown well even if the photos dont show it(it was next to the island to the right of the hide,the one with lots of vegitation on it).it wasent long before i was onto a dunlin(juv) at the back of the flash.not long after my dad decided to join andy by the bench and i decided to stay in the hide to log a bit more the back of the flash there was a curlew,wait a minuite,isnt that a dark eystripe and bold supercilium and an all dark/short bill.WHIMBREL.only the scond whimbrel ive seen and this record was confirmed a few days after when i was told someone else had seen it that night.2 curlew flew into the flashes at this point i decided to join my dad.there was a much larger crowd now about 30/40 birders.

while scanning the incoming gull flocks someone called a little egret,i got onto it flying across the flashes but i decided it was too dark to get a photo(about 8:10 pm).not long after this a birder called the sabine's flying in from the north with a big gull flock.about 5 seconds later i was onto it passing high over the hen pool.i watched it flying lower and lower untill ity dissapeared behind a tree on the 2nd flash(LIFER 189).i joined the hourds of birders as we sprinted for the hide. i got a look in and watched an amazing bird through my scope wth what looked like a full hood(it was very dark).i quickly got out my camera and fired away 1 film:

this shows how dark it was.i let a woman look through my scope and surrendered my position so someone else could get a i got tothe end of the 1st bourdwalk,someone asked me if i was midlandsbirder and i replied in amazement 'yes'.how can someone recognise me without seeing a picture.i guess its to do with that im a teenager and there arnt many more young birders that visit upton.he introduced himself as the pokerbirder (nice to meet you).the rest of the night was spent on a high,i would love to say what my friend andy replied saying after i said i'd seen the sabines gull.and i didnt even send him the supporting cast(well not untill the next day anyway)

highlights are:

1 little egret


1 dunlin

10c green sand

2+ common sand

2 curlew

1 whimbrel

800+ BHG's

1 mediteranian gull(juv)

1 SABINE'S GULL(lifer)

5 common tern

3 stock dove

what a day!


by the way the title comes from what a birder said while walking with him to the flashes.he called it the 'holy grail' of a gull


Martyn Yapp said...

Yes I was one of the Friday morning early birders I am afraid. Is only my second regional, although I passed on seeing an immature at Westport a few years ago for some reason.

Well over double figures in Britain now, but the first is always the best, which strangely enough was on a seawatch in Cornwall, next day I saw my second, an immature at Blithfield.

midlands birder said...

all the way to cornwall for one(and the hope of other seabirds) then one turns up at blithfield the next day,ouch,still its nice to see it being a 2nd summer rather than juvs but they too are so great looking.
wait i'm saying a gull is good looking;)

Martyn Yapp said...

Well I seem to remember we had a week down there and it was not until the last day that a classic south-westerly gale turned north-west in the early morning. Bingo St Ives, full cover from gale and birds beneath your legs, which I seem to remember included at least 10 Leach's, Pom Skua and enough Manx and Balearic's to blow yer brains out.......

midlands birder said...

so,well nough to get me jelous,i need to do more seawatching but i just havent got any school holidays when its a good time to go