Wednesday 22 March 2017

Two familiar Casps from Sunday

For some reason (work!), I've just got round to posting about Sunday - a return to form for the Thames after a couple of quiet weeks. Along with Dante and Dave J, I spent a few hours at Thames Barrier Park hurling out the loaves to the thankful larids. I got a message from Dante early on that there were good numbers of gulls about, shortly followed by another message 'I've got X307' and so with that I abandoned Rotherhithe's few gulls and headed to the north side of the river...

German-ringed 1st-winter Caspian Gull X307 Thames Barrier Park, London 19th March 2017 (bird 1)
X307 is a bit of a special bird, in that it was the first Caspian Gull of the season in the Thames Barrier/O2/Rotherhithe area way back on 25th September 2016 when Jamie P spotted it (photos here). Dante saw it at Rainham in October, but since then it has been seen at Amwell, Herts on a couple of occasions but that's it. So nice to have it back in Central London!

There was another treat at Thames Barrier Park on Sunday too, when another really bold and vocal 1st-winter Caspian Gull turned up to the offerings. This bird showed outrageously well, in nice neutral light too and was a new individual for us - number 26 for the season, excluding a couple of potential hybrids. With the obvious primary displaced in its right wing, as well as subtle plumage details, this is 'Creeky' a bird seen a few times just downriver at Creekmouth recently.

1st-winter Caspian Gull Thames Barrier Park, London 19th March 2017 (bird 2) 
Anyway, there were a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls about and some NTGG ringed Herring Gulls but that was about it. However, with the gull season getting ever nearer the end, I'll take a couple of local Caspian Gulls for a Sunday's day of work.

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