Sunday, 30 March 2014

Last tip visit of the season

It was warm and sunny yesterday when I visited the tip for what will probably be the last time of this winter period. Late March can be a bit hit or miss gulls wise, but it turned out pretty well in the end. A couple of new birds caused a bit of a headache identification wise, while the gull detective work that often follows - tracking down ringing schemes - was also rather lenthy. But all worthwhile with a juvenile Iceland Gull, two Caspian Gulls (first-winters, one Polish-ringed), two Yellow-legged Gulls (first-winters, including a Swiss ringed bird) and half a dozen Med Gulls (including a displaying pair) recorded. Added to this, 16 gull rings included 3 Norwegian Great Black-backed Gulls plus the Swiss and Polish birds mentioned above.
juvenile Iceland Gull Essex 29th March 2014 - the usual bird that has been present the last month or so

Caspian Gull Essex 29th March 2014 - green-ringed P323. Ringed at Kozielno near Paczkow in south-central Poland (near the Slovakian border) in a colony of 300 nests, mainly Caspian Gulls and a few Yellow-legged Gulls. The chicks that were ringed had a 90-95% chance of being a Caspian Gull. Note the shorter and stubbier bill than you'd expect.

1st-winter Yellow-legged Gull Essex 29th March 2014 - ringed in Switzerland last year, most likely from Lake Neuchatel
1st-winter Yellow-legged Gull 29th March 2014 - A real brute of a bird. The barred uppertail-coverts and rump and pale inner primary window, however, are at odds with the usual expectations of this species.
1st-winter Great Black-backed Gull Essex 29th March 2014 - ringed as a chick at Leiholmen, Mandal, Vest-Agder, Norway (58°00'19"N 007°38'54"E) on 6th July 2013.
 Today was spent locally, where a brief rest from a day of work, produced a Sand Martin over Russia Dock Woodland as well as a few Blackcaps and Chiffchaff singing.

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