A Surprise at Coate

After a late one with some friends last night I woke later than intended. With a busy day ahead of me this just left time for a quick visit to the flood water at Coate. As there wasn’t a lot there I decided on a quick look at the main lake from the Broome Manor end. What I was hoping for was a couple of Black Terns. What I got was totally unexpected, an adult Gannet. I watched the bird for a couple of minutes before it was hassled by some gulls and flew off out of sight. I reported the sighting to the Grapevine and then, as I didn’t have my camera with me decided to go home to get it and hope the bird was still around. Starting from the main car park on my return, initially I couldn’t relocate the Gannet but then found it back at the Broome Manor end. Hurrying around the lake I managed a few fairly distant pictures. I was joined by another local birder and as we watched the Gannet started to move towards where we were standing. Amazingly it came to within around six feet of us. Obviously exhausted from the strong winds that had blown it in from the sea it gave us the privilege of some amazing views. It then flew off towards the other end of the lake where it drifted around attracting a lot of interest from the members of the boating club. The pleasure of this, for me first for Wiltshire sighting was tempered by the fact that the condition of the bird meant that it may well not survive. By this time plenty of other local birders were arriving to see it. Later on in the day the Gannet was washed over the weir and as it couldn’t get out was caught and taken into care. Hopefully it will recover and be able to be released back at sea. Also seen, amongst others,  were a large number of Hirundines, my first Reed Warbler of the year and four Common Terns.

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2 responses to “A Surprise at Coate

  1. That’s a new one for the list then Malcolm. With this and Honey Buzzard at CWP what a day for me to choose to visit the Malvern RHS Flower Show. I got your phone call about 5 mins before the one about the Honey Buzzard. Then it rained!

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