Saturday, 12 May 2018

Caspian Gull at Thamesmead

It has been a couple of weeks since I did a post - last weekend was too hot and sunny for much to be about in all honesty. So I made the most of a very pleasant time with Mum and Dad, seeing some bits like Garden Warbler and Surrey heathland stuff in the process. And then on the Bank Holiday Monday, a trip to Dungeness revealed about four Little Gulls on the RSPB reserve, along with a couple of Great White Egrets on Dengemarsh, and a few Whimbrels and Bar-tailed Godwits moving along the coast. We also managed to get the young lad his first ever Turtle Dove on Romney Marsh, as it purred in the blistering heat.

And so to today, waking up to the promise of grey skies and rain - just what you need for birding in London! And with rain forecast from midday, that when I headed out. First stop, aside from the local Rotherhithe spots, was Thamesmead and the river off Princess Alice Way. Typically on arrival, there were no gulls present and just a load of scrotes playing their drill music. However, things changed within a couple of minutes and half a loaf: -



1st-winter Caspian Gull Thamesmead, London 12th May 2018
This is the first Caspian Gull I've had at Thamesmead for ages, as the winter we have had really hasn't been great for them by recent high standards. It was quite a nice one too, and though probably coming from a western population given its propensity to linger around, I wouldn't be labelling this bird with the increasingly used 'German muck' label.

Crossness in the rain was full of promise, but delivered two Wheatears in the paddocks and four Dunlin at the outfall. Swift numbers were well up though compared to last weekend, presumably due to the inclement weather. Nearby at Crayford, there were loads of gulls but nothing too special with the highlight being a 1st-winter Yellow-legged Gull on the roofs by the recycling centre.

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