Saturday, 1 December 2012

Sabine's Gull still present

Today, Saturday, was crisp and bright. With duller and wetter weather forecast for tomorrow I decided to head out for a few hours around 11am. I was tempted to head for the Surf Scoter over at Dungarvan but opted instead to keep it local. Ronan McLaughlin had reported a Black Red from Cobh earlier in the week so I decided to have a look around the seafront for that.
However I spent over half an hour chatting to an old work colleague on the main street in Cobh so didn't really concentrate too hard on looking for any birds. No sign of the House Crow, which I don't think has been seen in quite some months, and certainly no sign of any Black Reds.
Over at the pilot boat camber, all was quiet with just the usual stuff knocking about. On the harbour side of Cuskinny all I had were Common and Black-headed Gulls. I checked the harbour further out for divers and grebes but again my scope just doesn't do it. I own a Kowa TSN661, not a bad scope but limited reach and the object lens is badly scuffed so its a bit like looking through grease-proof paper sometimes. I'm on the lookout for a decent secondhand scope at the moment. Anyway, I couldn't see anything out in the harbour so swung around to Cuskinny Lake itself. It was about 1.50pm and I wanted to get back and watch Wales v. Australia and England v. New Zealand in the rugby, kick-off 2.30pm so this was going to be a quick check of the lake.
I scanned the birds once and on my second sweep I just got sight of the tricoloured wing pattern of the Cobh Sabine's Gull as it landed amongst a few Common Gulls and began to wash. Great stuff, I have a particularily soft spot for this bird, good to know its still around and doing well.
It joined in with the Common Gulls present and I watched them all wash up for about fifteen minutes. Once it was finished it didn't wait around for the Common Gulls. It upped by itself and went back out into the harbour. Was that my last encounter with this bird??

Sabine's Gull with Common Gull, Cuskinny Reserve, Great Island, Cork - 1st December 2012

Having a thorough wash!
A few pairs of Gadwall were still present, this males was getting a bit of agro from the Mallards.

Male Gadwall - Cuskinny Reserve, Great Island, Cork - 1st December 2012
On the far side of the lake was a small flock of about twenty Wigeon, present also were approximately six Little Grebe and the usual Mallards, Mute Swans, Moorhen, Black-headed and Common Gulls. No Ring-billed Gulls this time.
I headed home to watch the sport and picked up a message on FB from Ronan that the Waxwings have arrived in Cobh...........something to aim for tomorrow maybe!

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