Sunday, 17 March 2013

Glaucous, Caspian and other tip gulls

With it getting nowhere near spring, and those days of migration seeming a long way off still, yesterday I headed back to the tip to see what was about. Presumably the cold weather had pushed gulls from the continent, and it was obvious there were many more gulls than last weekend. It didn't take more than 10 minutes to pull out this juvenile Glaucous Gull - a nice biscuit coloured bird, which seems to be the case for a lot of the east coast birds we get (they seem rather more pallid in Ireland).
Then it was onto Caspian Gulls, with three stunning 1st-winters present. It has been over a month since I've seen anything but this age, so perhaps at least the adults have already departed eastwards towards their breeding colonies.
Bird 1

Bird 2

Bird 3

Bird 3
Four Yellow-legged Gulls included this 1st-winter, and although ringed isn't that interesting - it was ringed at the same site exactly a month ago!
1st-winter Yellow-legged Gull (ringed YY1T)
There were also quite a few ringed birds, many from the NTGG (with the most interesting being an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull that had been to Spain and back) as well as a Belgian Herring Gull and a Norwegian Great Black-backed Gull. Half a dozen Mediterranean Gulls were getting a bit frisky too.

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