Saturday, 7 December 2013

More Caspian Gulls and colour rings

Another Saturday on the tip. It's a long old winter in southeast England, but this type of stuff makes it much more bearable. In fact, I'd go as far to say that gull watching on stinking rubbish tips ranks extremely highly for me in terms of enjoyable pastimes. Especially as it was another action packed day, more so than last week - with four Caspian Gulls (adult, two 2nd-winters and a 1st-winter) and three Med Gulls the highlights. Throw in 19 colour-ringed gulls - from Norway, northeast Scotland and Poland as well as the usual local schemes - and it was pretty constant action all morning.

The undoubted highlight for me was seeing a Polish-ringed 2nd-winter Caspian Gull. As soon as I saw it, I recognised the ring combination as that used by Jacek Betleja and colleagues in Jankowice - a Caspian Gull colony I'd visited here only 6 months ago.

2nd-winter Caspian Gull (Polish ringed PLUK) - pretty typical individual with obvious advanced moult on the coverts, retained tail band, long thin legs and obvious mirror to P10.
There was another 2nd-winter too that hung around intermittently for most of the morning, as did a typically smart 1st-winter, and an adult was seen early afternoon only. A few shots of these below: -

2nd-winter Caspian Gull - less typical individual than above structurally yet retained dark based tertials lacking any internal shelling, uniform retained greater coverts and advanced moult more typical. Note, however, only the smallest of mirrors on P10.

adult Caspian Gull - note just an isolated black mark on the outer web to P5, as opposed to the more classic black band.
1st-winter Caspian Gull - lovely, classic first-winter that has already dropped several tertials and in active covert moult.

No comments:

Post a Comment