Bird Sightings

Seen an interesting bird?  Then let us know by submitting a record on our on-line database.  It is easy to do but if you need some instructions take a look at the Submit Sightings Page.  To view the latest sightings just click on the menu item for Latest Sightings.

Some birds are not uncommon in other parts of the country or around our coasts, but may be in Buckinghamshire.  If you want to see just how scarce a particular species is then take a look at the Bucks List.

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Bonaparte's Gull - New to Bucks!

Initially found by Roy Hargreaves on 4th January at Wilstone Reservoir (Hertfordshire). News was soon put out but the bird soon flew off and was only seen by two observers.  The bird was again present on 8th January when it was seen to fly off towards College Lake just prior to dusk, presumably to join the Black-headed Gull roost.  On Saturday 9th January quite a few birders caught up with the bird at Wilstone where is spent quite a bit of time but also fed on nearby fields.  In dreadful weather conditions the bird was found in the College Lake roost at 15:40 by Dave Bilcock and also seen by Lee Evans.  So adding another species to the Bucks county list!

BonapartesGull_College Lake-1000

The Bonaparte’s Gull at College Lake. It is the smallest gull in the centre of the photo. (Photo taken on 9th Jan by Dave Bilcock)

On Sunday 10th January the bird again appeared at Wilstone, again moving between the reservoir and nearby fields.  At 16:40 it was located in the huge Black-headed Gull roost at College Lake, in among an estimated 5000 Gulls, again found by Dave Bilcock.  A group of twelve or so local birders managed to see the bird before it was lost in the darkness.  The bird seems to roost at College Lake every night and at the time of writing, it was seen on 12th January.

The following excellent flight photos were taken by Ian Williams.  These were taken over the fields of Miswell Farm, which is just to the South-east of Wilstone Reservoir and in Hertfordshire.

 Bonaparte 22-1200  Bonaparte 17-1115

Note the greyish “shawel” over the neck.  This is white on most Black-headed Gulls.  Also note the pink legs.

Bonaparte 26-800  Bomnaparte 28-900

Note the black bill and the longish black trailing edge to the wings.

Bonaparte with juv black-head-1200

Black-headed Gull and Bonaparte’s Gull – An interesting comparison. Note the much whiter underwing on the Bonaparte’s Gull

If anyone manages to get any further photos of the bird in Buckinghamshire, please forward onto Jim Rose at