Sunday, 1 January 2012

Crossness casp & colour-ringed ridibundus

Happy New Year by the way. I headed out just shy of 8 this morning to Crossness, and it was another one of those grim, grey mornings that made the Thames foreshore that bit more depressing that it often is. That is, until John A received a call from Dave Mo the other side of the river to say that there were a couple of Dark-bellied Brents sat on the mud in Barking Bay. Nice they were too, and a result for the day. While watching these birds, I scanned the near line of gulls - where there'd been a couple of 1st-winter Yellow-leggeds when I arrived - and there bang in the centre of my scope was a quality adult Caspian Gull, complete with the oft-quoted beady eye, rounded forehead and pale tongue to the underside of p10. At 9.40am, was this the first cachinnans of the year on British turf?
Caspo El Clasico. Almost as good to watch as Barcelona?
John A and I then had a mooch around Southmere, Thamesmead, where I found this bad boy, sporting a bit of bling. Seems like it's come to get us from Russia with Love... well, Latvia to be accurate. I reckon it's pretty nailed on from this ringing scheme.
presumed Latvian-ringed Black-headed Gull
South paddock was crap, although a Buzzard was half decent, and then we headed back to the river where the two Brents had flown a lot closer.
A check of the protected area and the paddocks produced nothing of real interest. Then the heavens opened, as the weather people had predicted, so I headed home with a sodden coat. Some things never change. Will I ever learn to go birding in suitable attire?

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