Saturday, 10 March 2018

What a difference a week makes

I headed out today not bothering to wear a jumper. Admittedly I did still have my coat with me, but turn the clock back a week and the ground was covered in snow as I set out. A quick check of Greenland Dock revealed Black-headed Gull numbers were down, so perhaps a sign of spring as the numbers do reduce from now on. But a visit to Crayford and specifically the wasteground at Jolly Farmers revealed winter's grip was still there, with a shed load of gulls which included this Dutch ringed Lesser Black-backed Gull: -
adult Lesser Black-backed Gull K.PAC Jolly Farmers, Crayford, London 10th March 2018 - ringed as a juvenile on Texel, The Netherlands on 14th July 2008; seen at Crayford Marshes previously in 2011 and 2013 as well as in northern Spain and back on Texel.
There was a bit of a smoky 1st-winter Herring Gull too, but it was just that, as well as a fair number of Thames ringed Herring and Black-headed Gulls. While there, I met Andy L who said that the usual crew were off to Dungeness for the afternoon. So I cheekily grabbed a place in the car with him, Richard S and Mick S. After the usual fry up at the Oasis Diner just outside Lydd, we were at the fishing boats early afternoon and the loaves were out.

With Jamie P and Laurence P there too, it wasn't long before an adult Caspian Gull turned up: -

adult Caspian Gull Dungeness, Kent 10th March 2018
This bird was a bit of an interesting beast, with a decent underside to P10 and primary tongues, while it had nice bright legs and also a hefty looking bill on it. A really nice bird to see, as seeing adults these days - now that Pitsea tip is no longer - is pretty tricky. A juvenile Glaucous Gull was also about, but didn't want to come close at all: -
juvenile Glaucous Gull Dungeness, Kent 10th March 2018
However, despite staying until near dark there was little else of interest to look at. Three Sandwich Terns that headed west were pleasant enough, and an adult Mediterranean Gull was as always nice.

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