Saturday, 15 November 2014

A handful of Casps to kick off the season

It seems that with all those Desert Wheatears last weekend, the winter has now typically set in. And, to be honest, it couldn't come soon enough. The autumn promised a lot with the weather systems in early October, though actually delivered very little except for my bi-annual Eastern Crowned Warbler dip. Gulls are the winter theme, as here in a people saturated southeast England, there isn't really much else to look at that really interests me. I'm fine with that though, as today exemplified.

first-winter Caspian Gull (bird 1) 15th November 2014 - a typical, brute of an individual with a nice clean underwing. Greater-coverts a bit frosty but clearly a fine Casp.
A dreary, relatively mild day on the tip kicked off the season. The ringers were about too, and managed a decent catch of birds. The cannon netting didn't really disrupt the flow of the birds too much today, and with a load of dust carts coming in and out, there was plenty of food for the gulls. And loads of gulls too - more than what we were getting on average last winter. So, with cachinnans withdrawal symptoms, today I was back on it with a total of five Caspian Gulls seen - three first-winters, a third-winter and an adult-type. There were also a similar number of Yellow-legged Gulls knocking about, as well as a Med Gull and a couple of leucistic Herring Gulls. Gull rings were limited to just half a dozen locally ringed birds, but it's actually quite tricky to scan for birds and look at their legs!
1st-winter Caspian Gull (bird 2) 15th November 2014. A cute looking, short-billed and rather short-legged individual with rather advanced bare part colouration and feather wear. I guess it may not have pure Caspian lineage.

1st-winter Caspian Gull (bird 3) 15th November 2014.

3rd-winter Caspian Gull (bird 4) 15th November 2014

adult Caspian Gull (bird 5) 15th November 2014
Already looking forward to next weekend, and the run up to Christmas. At least it's a good excuse not to be able to go shopping on a Saturday.
2nd-winter Yellow-legged Gull 15th November 2014

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