Tuesday 22 February 2022

BIKINGBIRDER VI 2022 February 16th Cardiff Bay Dip


          Out early but not early enough to see the reported Bonaparte's Gull. Arriving after cycling the four miles from last night's B & B through Cardiff's convoluted streets into a strong headwind, the rare American gull has been scared off from the palying fields it was on. Lots of dogs are running around, fair enough, it is their owners home after all.

          Two local birders arrive as the weather goes from windy with some sun to gale and horizontal rain. Together we get wet and natter about birds.

          As the weather deteriorates and it seems obvious that the Bonaparte's will not be seen today,    and Pete leave and I decide to try the 'come to bread' tactic.

          My first ever Bonaparte's Gull was seen way back in the late 1980s at New Brighton on The Wirral. Myself and three of my Secondary students, members of the Coppice Bird Club and YOC, Alex, Richard and, well was Jason there? We had arrived at the place reported on Birdline, the telephone and spend a fortune rare bird news service available back then but the assembled birders told us that the Boneys had not been seen.

          "Alex, can you go buy a loaf of bread?"

          Bread bought and thrown out to the Mersey water's edge, down came the gulls and down came the Bonaparte's Gull! UTB!

          Bread and bread rolls bought, I stand by the jetty and toss pieces to the assembled throng of Mute Swans, ducks and gulls, totally not seeing the Don't Feed The Birds signs attached to the fence. 

          No Bonaparte's Gull on this occasion though and I spend some time photographing the birds that do come to the free offerings.

          With the weather worsening I decide to give the morning up as a bad job and head back to the B & B. I spend the afternoon washing my clothes and relaxing. Weather forecasts tell of storms arriving. Today's was Storm Dudley. Eunice and Franklin are on the way and what doosies they are forecast to be!          



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