Sunday, 8 July 2012

Caspian Gull in Rotherhithe

I spent most of the day doing some bits on my dissertation (don't ask, but it's as much fun as a dose of chlamydia (presumably)), though admittedly this was interspersed with a bit of river inspection. Trying to dodge the mid morning showers, low tide didn't reveal many gulls on the foreshore largely due to some ring piece and their dog scurrying around the usual larid haunt. Common Terns were pretty vocal around the flat today, but all adults and no sign of any young around here this year unfortunately.

Then to this evening, and with some lovely sunshine, I walked the couple of hundred yards to the river and found this distant 2nd-summer Caspian Gull on the river at the bottom of Rope Street, just west of Greenland Pier - a real surprise.
Round-headed profile with pixel thin dark eye, off pink legs, nice extensively dark based retained tertials and rather bleached coverts. Hope you can see all this from this photo!

Long, spindly legs pretty evident here despite the poor photo quality

Distance, poor light are the excuses... the centre of the underwing was nice and pale, there was a decent retained bar on the secondaries while even on this really poor photo you can just about make out a pale mirror to P10
It wasn't one for pictures as the barges at the moment are on the other side
of the river. However, I tried a few ways of getting decent images (including the video cam option) but none of them worked! I got a couple of flight shots, but with the flash going off due to poor light, they lacked the detail I'd usually get. I was pretty happy with this individual though, and as with the last and only Caspian Gull I found in Rotherhithe, it was pretty much on its own large gull wise. If you want to have a look at some better photos of 2nd-summer Casps click here!


  1. Nice. Do they even raise an eyebrow over there anymore? Definitely under the radar over here.

  2. I think a lot of people are happy with seeing one, and then moving on. London Casps are all found by a handful of observers - this time of year isn't too bad for 3cy and 4cys but not for the feint hearted as a lot of plumage features that'll be obvious in a couple of months are totally knackered now. But they are pretty distinctive. They're extremely rare in western England (not sure whether Wales has had a gen record?) so I don't think you'll get that many to be honest man.

  3. True. but we should definitely be getting more than we have. 4/5 year absences are ridiculous.