Great crested grebe on Bothal this evening
Arriving at Longhirst flash early evening I was surprised to see a large flock of Gulls sitting around the far flooded patches. Scanning through the scope hoping for a white winged one, the pulse began to race as I noticed a strange looking gull with a bill which looked too long to be natural, a pure white head, some grey scruffy feathering on the mantle but the wings looking like an adult Herring gull but noticably a darker grey. For a while I'd almost convinced myself that it was a Caspian gull but I couldn't see anything else on the bird. Through the scope the eye looked like it had been bleeding but it looked the same on the other side when it turned around. Despite the distance I tried to take some pictures but they only looked like a montage of blurred greys and whites. I even sent a text to Stewart (BB) but sent one back later when I couldn't make my mind up. A low flying helicopter sent the gulls off seaward so I will never know. A pity it wasn't closer.
Off to Bothal pond to see some real birds. Usual wildfowl and Redshank here but a fine Great crested grebe was a nice surprise. A Swallow was flying low over the pond. This is the first year that I can remember that I have seen Swallow before Sand martin.