Saturday, 10 March 2012

Last cach of the season?

Back on the tip today, in rather balmy conditions - well, at least I could feel my hands throughout the morning! It took a long time for the large gulls to come in, although by late morning/early afternoon a couple of 1st-winter Caspian Gulls showed up. I found this bird that in the end showed nicely: -
Nice contrast in colouration between the secondaries and coverts.

Black terminal band on the tail contrasting well with the relatively unbarred uppertail.

Finely barred axillaries. This is at the darker end of Casps on the underwing-coverts though.

Still looking nice and full bellied, despite looking slick otherwise in this alert posture. The good old spindly legs show up well here too.

Quite a sturdy individual with knackered greater-coverts and scapulars moulting through. Retained tertials still nicely dark though looking predictably worn at the tips.
There was also another individual, that showed less well but still gave some decent views as it fed in amongst the other gulls: -
Good to see them this late on in the winter, and as you can see both birds looked pretty knackered plumage wise. Meanwhile, there were a handful of Med Gulls around (as well as a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls) that added a bit of fun to the Black-headed Gull monotony.
adult Med Gull in the feeding frenzy
It took a while to get the single catch of birds, but thanks to the compactor drivers, a haul of 419 birds were ringed by the NTGG. This included a couple of Common Gulls and more Lesser Black-backed Gulls than the last time (as they're now starting to move through), as well as lots of Herring and Black-headed Gulls. Once again, I ringed a few birds, got the opportunity to see the gulls up close and personal and had a really good time.
More on these little chaps at some other point

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