Saturday, 13 December 2014

More Caspian Gulls on the last tip visit for 2014

Very similar conditions to last Saturday. A nice, crisp day with good light and lots of gulls making the most of the tip's offering. With less than a handful of hours sleep post-Christmas party, there was nothing like the fresh smell of rubbish to wake me up this morning. Admittedly I wasn't at my best today, so it was good to be able to fall back on Steve A's sharpness! There were a total of three 1st-winter Caspian Gulls located - two seen a couple of times over the morning, while another was more brief.

1st-winter Caspian Gull (bird 1) 13th December 2014 - a relatively typical individual with deep brown based greater-coverts, pale underwing and dark centres to the scapulars.

1st-winter Caspian Gull (bird 2) 13th December 2014 - present for most of the morning and similar to the bird above, though larger in size and also greater-coverts paler and more barred.
There was also the reappearance of a distinctive bird from late November - presumably a hybrid Herring x Glaucous Gull, and certainly a bird of northern origin.
presumed hybrid Herring x Glaucous Gull 13th December 2014
A couple of Yellow-legged Gulls, an adult and a 2nd-winter, and an adult Med Gull were also present. Lots of Common Gulls present again, presumably frozen out of their usual foraging areas. I spent a lot of the time sifting through the gulls, looking for rings - 32 in total for today, my second highest total of the season. Mainly local birds, but mixed in were individuals from the Isle of Wight and Aberdeenshire, as well as a couple from Suffolk.
2nd-winter Herring Gull (ringed 5D0B) - initially ringed on the Isle of Wight in September 2013, I then saw this bird in March before its return to the tip today

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