Since it was first spotted, at Startops End Reservoir, last Sunday this stunning adult first summer Sabine's Gull has been putting on an excellent show for the many local birders.
This rare visitor to our inland waterways is assumed to have been blown off course, from its more regular haunt far out to sea in the North Atlantic, by the weekend storms that also brought severe damage and flooding to some parts of the UK.
After seeing the reports and excellent photos that were being posted on the internet I decided that, as any future chances of seeing one of these gulls was pretty slim, I should go and have a look.
So, early yesterday morning , under dark and gloomy skies (with the weatherman predicting rain again...what else?) I set off on the 30min. journey to Startops and almost to the second off arriving in the car park and turning off the car ignition...the heavens opened!! After a twenty minute wait the rain eased to a light drizzle and I decided to brave it and have a look to see if the 'star' was still about.....and I'm glad I did for almost the first thing that I saw on climbing the steps to the top of the embankment was a stunning white, grey and black bird putting on a fabulous show as it gracefully and effortlessly flew back and forth along the water's edge, regularly plunging into the water to collect a morsel of food and at times coming so close that I felt as though I could have reached out and touched it.
I spend over three hours totally engrossed in watching and photographing this beautiful bird that I didn't notice that the rain had stopped!
Although the rain and the gloom were not perfect for taking photographs (I took lots!!) I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was glad that I had made the effort to go and have a look!
And the video....