Sunday, 5 February 2012

Cracking cach in the snow

So this year's helping of snow comes to South London and, well, I can say that they'd learnt from their mistakes. It was with remarkable ease that I got to Crossness this morning, taking little over my usual time. So well done to Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich for doing a good job and keeping the roads going.

And a good job I got to Crossness as I located an absolutely cracking 1st-winter Caspian Gull off the golf centre early afternoon - the first 1st-winter I'd seen here for ages, and easily the best age in terms of looks for this cracking species gull. Just have a look at these shots and tell me that Casps aren't totally beautiful: -
As obvious as Casps get!

A Caspian torpedo... nice dark centred tertials lacking any notching

Scaps here show nice anchors and transverse barring, as you'd expect

Noticeably white-headed with a long, parallel-sided bill lacking much in the way of an obvious gonys

Matchstick legs

Black primaries and secondaries contrastingly nicely with the chocolate brown upperwing coverts; also nice pale tips to the greater coverts. A whitish rump contrasting with the black tail band

Not the cleanest Casp in terms of its underwing... but palish central area
Normally a bit of the white stuff causes a bit of movement, and for sure that happened today. There weren't any wild geese or swans, but 11 Golden Plover over by the outfall mid-morning were the first I'd seen at Crossness, and for John A too, the first truly on the patch (as birds at Rainham can sometimes be seen from the Belvedere end of the Thames Path). I managed to miss 5 Goldeneye off the golf centre just before I arrived, but several Grey Plovers (at least 7) were mincing about and the Bar-tailed Godwit was still on the foreshore. A few Meadow Pipits and a Skylark moving overhead, and a load of Snipe frozen out and on the foreshore.
Common Snipe on the foreshore

No comments:

Post a Comment