Anyway, it turned out to be a fantastic morning of gulls. At Lyle Park, there were four familiar 1st-winter Caspian Gulls along with a brute of a 1st-winter Yellow-legged Gull. Then we headed off to the O2 in Greenwich where there were two 1st-winter Caspian Gulls - a new bird that I'd not seen before and one of the birds from Lyle Park. And so five 1st-winter Caspian Gulls brightened up the dank day weather wise.
Let me introduce you to all of them personally: -
Caspian Gull 'Lyle'
As the name suggests, Lyle has been hanging about Lyle Park since mid-November and you can be sure to find it either there or nearby on the foreshore at Thames Barrier Park. A classic, crisp 1st-winter.
|'Lyle' at Lyle Park, London 15th January 2017|
Caspian Gull 'Otis'
Otis has been around for about as long as Lyle, but isn't quite as faithful and seems to go missing from time to time. It has a number of newly moulted coverts and shows thinner arrowheads on its scapulars compared to Lyle, and some fairly uniform grey ones too. A nice distinctive bird that I've been enjoying seeing this winter, mainly at Lyle Park: -
|'Otis' at Lyle Park, London 15th January 2017|
Caspian Gull 'Mucky'
A much more, as its name suggests, darker and muckier individual that I think is an altogether smaller bird than Otis and Lyle - so possibly a female. Mucky can be recognised by some heavily marked scapulars and a pale-ish base to its bill. Today, Mucky started off at Lyle before following us to the O2 later on in the morning
|'Mucky' at Lyle Park (top) and O2 Greenwich (bottom) on 15th January 2017|
Caspian Gull 'Darky'
As the slightly politically incorrect name suggests, there is something a bit more coloured than usual on this 1st-winter Caspian Gull - though it avoided my camera in the pouring rain today, it is a distinctive individual with fairly obvious dark centres to a lot of its scapulars. And it tends to hang about at Lyle Park.
|'Darky' at Lyle Park, London on 2nd January 2017|
Caspian Gull - new bird 'Slick'
As well as the three birds mentioned above, there was also a regular bird with dark scapular markings at Lyle (distantly and in the pouring rain) as well as this beautiful new bird that was at the O2 in Greenwich around lunchtime. A real quality, pompous individual that I'm calling 'Slick' from now on.
|'Slick' at Greenwich O2, London 15th January 2017|