Sunday, 19 December 2010

Bittern &Ring-Billed Gull at Par.

Report. R.Lane . 19th December 2010

" There was very little on the half-frozen Par Pool at 2pm today, apparently just 4 x Tufted Ducks and a few Snipe. Driving on to overlook the Bay there was little else to be seen except 1 x G.C.Grebe (out of 10+ possibles !) and 1 x Common Eider Duck (female).
Driving out of Par c.2.30pm I stopped to count the coot feeding at the roadside bank and saw 70+ (my highest total ever at Par). However, Andrew came along at that time and told me he had counted 85 in the morning ! Must be a record.
It was very fortunate Andrew turned up when he did, since I parked up to scan the Pool with him and after a while, having seen only the Tufted Duck and 2 x Gadwall (a pair) plus several Snipe, a large brown bird flew from the rear of the reeds to the front, and stood motionless ! Got the 'scope onto it, to see a BITTERN standing in the late sunlight. It then crept off out of sight into the reeds, before Andrew could set up his camera ! However, patience paid off and as I left he shouted that he had taken a flight picture of the Bittern ! Again I returned, to see the picture and, while I was scanning the Gulls on the ice, in a flock of B.H.Gulls were 1 x Comm.Gull and 1 x RING-BILLED GULL, a full adult, with the classic bill pattern, which unfortunately flew soon after I found it. My first at Par for over 5 years !
Although a Bittern may be harder to locate, there is no easy way of identifying a R.B.Gull, good job it was a full adult ! Trevor and Angie turned up later dressed like Arctic explorers (well it was near Zero degrees by then !), but I believe too late for the Bittern (or Gull). Better luck next time guys !"

Thanks for the report Roger.

After we got the call from Andrew we hurried down to the Pool. I did not fancy our chances of seeing the Bittern but you never is a funny old game.

Not long after you left..Andrew heard it booming and a short while later we were treated to it flying a lap of the Pool. It then went out of sight again into the reeds. So another patch tick for me.

Now unfortunately we were too late for the Ring=Billed Gull which would have provided us both with a life tick.....It would have been 200 up for Angie.

During our brief visit also seen.... 4x Snipe. 20 x Curlew (over) and 1x Goosander.... which did one more lap of the Pool than the Bittern did.


  1. Well done Roger. I thought you said you would not be there. I would have made it earlier had I known you would venture out! Bout time we got you a mobile :) x

  2. T, the Curlew were seen by the gentleman and his wife from Fowey who we see regularly, but unfortunately I have still to find out who they are. He also informed us of a Waxwing, which was seen at Park Road in Fowey last Thursday. Oh, and don't forget the Mippit and a handful of Redwing doing the rounds :)

  3. Trevor, it called, not unlike a heron, NOT boomed. In those temperatures, not even a bittern's gonna get amarous!! Andy


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