16th. Another trip to Aberavon and another dip on the Ross's gull. I saw 2 guillemots, a great-crested grebe, 2 first-winter little gulls, 3 adult Mediterranean gulls, and kittiwakes.
Mediterranean gull - adult winter. The ring number is AJYZ Green on right leg, and Andreas Zours from Hamburg provided the following information. Ringed as a pullus 19 June 2010, Pionierinsel Luhe, Landkreis Stade, Niedersachen, Germany. Subsequently the bird was sighted at Blackpill, Swansea Bay on 23 October 2010, Vendee in the Pays-de-la-Loire France 24 May 2011, and Antwerp (Belgium) 23 June 2012. It is a female.
Best bird however was an adult Kumlien's gull - a montage of shots below.
9th. Aberavon in an attempt to see the first-winter Ross's gull, which didn't show in the 3 hours I spent on the windswept beach. It was later found in the docks apparently. I saw some kittiwakes, 3 little gulls, an adult Mediterranean gull and a fly-over white-winged gull which was probably an Iceland gull but no other birds were present for size comparisons, and it was difficult to get good views in the rain. I was amazed how many people thought they saw the Ross's gull - at least 4 convinced calls while I was there - but none was the bird!
8th. Quiet at Chew only birds of note were the two pink-footed geese and a green sandpiper. Photos of long-tailed tit and singing blue tit at the Moreton feeder.
4th. Arthur Goldsmith and I travelled to see Britain's first wintering RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL at Marshfield. The bird showed well in bright sunlight, and I took the photos below with the 2x extender. We also saw at least 20 corn buntings and about 5 yellowhammers at Rushmead Farm. It's a first-winter male.
2nd. Some good local birding. I missed the high tide at Aust, but the road was still partly flooded when I arrived. I spent some time at the feeding log, used the car as a hide and photographed the reed buntings there.
I had three views of a single twite. Two were fleeting flight views, but on the third occasion a bird fed on the edge of the reed bed.
In the afternoon I watched the pre-roost of gulls on Herriot's Pool, Chew Valley Lake and saw an adult Mediterranean gull and a second-winter Iceland gull. A record shot of the Iceland gull below in murky light.