Yesterday a message appeared saying: 'Richard's Pipit at Aber Ogwen in field south of car park found by H Cook. Flew off tho.'
Ros Green, Chris Bridge and I gave it a go about 1 hour after the
original sighting, but there was sadly no sign. When giving up and
heading back to the car, Ros noticed a gull flock on the sands and me
being me, I couldn't leave them unchecked. I hoped for a white-winger,
but a quick scan revealed a very chunky, very dark mantled Lesser
Black-backed Gull which was possibly intermedius, but not much else.
A second scan and I noticed a striking 1stw LWHG that instantly stood
out to me. It was remarkably long winged with very black primaries and
black tertials with a very thin pale border (no pale notching). This
contrasted to the grey brown mantle and darker brown coverts. It also
had a very white headed appearance with a darker smudge on the ear
coverts with a black eye and very black bill. The bill was really chunky
with an obvious blob tip. I was pretty happy this was a first winter
Yellow-legged Gull, but wanted to see it flap. When it did, it revealed a
very white rump and only very slight windows in the inner primaries
which helped confirm my suspicions. Note the rubbish post-field sketch below.
Consolation for dipping the Richard's Pipit.