Sunday, 5 February 2017

Four Caspian Gulls Thames Barrier Park 4th Feb 2017

I had a day around the usual sites yesterday - Thames Barrier Park and the O2 specifically; something seems to have happened at Lyle Park with the factories for the time being not pumping out stuff to attract London's larids. So focusing on just the two sites between 10am and 3.30pm (the low tide period), Dante and I had a decent day with 4 Caspian Gulls (all new individuals for me - two 3rd-winters and two 1st-winters, including a German ringed bird) and similar numbers of Yellow-legged Gulls. Ring wise, there were a dozen birds in total - half being local, a German Caspian Gull, Lithuanian and Berkshire ringed Black-headed Gulls, two west country ringed Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Norwegian Common Gull (that I'd seen at Wanstead a couple of weekends ago).

So not wanting to break tradition, here are a few shots of the Casps - the most showy bird was this third-winter, found last Sunday and a slave to the bread. 'Oleg' was at Thames Barrier Park for the whole time we were there: -

Caspian Gull 3rd-winter (bird 1, 'Oleg') Thames Barrier Park, London 4th February 2017
A more pale-eyed third-winter Caspian Gull showed up mid morning, and was then present on and off for the remainder of the day - really scruffy looking on the deck, but more advanced than Oleg, the bird above. 

Caspian Gull 3rd-winter (bird 2) Thames Barrier Park, London 4th February 2017
Although there was little at the O2, on our return to Thames Barrier Park early afternoon a couple of 1st-winters showed up on the incoming tide. First one was this distinctive bird - presumably a male based on large size, and a new bird for us for the winter (we're now in the early 20s in terms of actual individual Caspian Gulls at the O2, Thames Barrier, Lyle and Rotherhithe this winter period): -

Caspian Gull 1st-winter (bird 1) Thames Barrier Park, London 4th February 2017
Then, just as the bread was running out - and it wasn't as if we'd come unprepared as over a dozen loaves must have been thrown throughout the day - this German-ringed Caspian Gull turned up at Thames Barrier Park.

Caspian Gull 1st-winter (X319) Thames Barrier Park, London 4th February 2017
This bird was seen by David Campbell at Beddington on 16th January 2017, having previously being ringed at Grabendorfer See, Brandenburg, Germany on 6th June 2016 and seen on Terschelling, The Netherlands on 19th November 2016.

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