Monday, 3 October 2011

Twitching the Azorean Yellow-legged Gull at Stewartby (24th September)

After the Watford RSPB trip to the Ver Valley and Tyttenhanger I was dropped of at the KL station were I took the 16:29 train to Stewartby.  This involved making two changes, not to mention the sight of 100's of Lapwing take of from a field between Aspley Cruise and Ridgmont, and arriving at the tiny platform of Stewartby on a one carriage train at around 6:00pm.  As always the tension was rising on the twitch and I only found my way to the lake after c.15 minutes of frantically running around the town and past the abandoned brick factories before I found the correct lake that the Azorean Yellow-legged Gull was expected to be roosting on.  It took a further 15 mins to run around to the opposite side to meet up with the group of c.15 other birders/twitchers.  Unfortunately, as is to often the case, the bird didn't show (I suspect It decided to roost on a neighbouring lake) However reports did come in later in the evening (that I checked once I arrived home) at 7:21pm that the bird had been seen but as I don't have a pager, nor receive rare bird alert news I don't know what the report said, if anyone knows were the report came from I would be very grateful.  Despite the absence of the main star, there were 100's of other Gulls, predominantly Lesser Black-backed Gulls, however, like a typical twitcher (not that I am one) I gave little regard to IDing of the rest of the gulls as the light was fading fast and I was still desperately scanning for the Azorean Y-l Gull.  I was the last to leave at 19:15 due to the faded light and returned to the train station with the hooting of a Tawny Owl behind me as I took the late night train back home at 19:48.

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