Friday, 22 April 2016

Cold conditions deliver an arctic gull

Last weekend was cold. Single digits. And after having to jump start the Land Rover for the first time in ages, it was onto the tip I went. Still lots of gulls, though less Lesser Black-backed Gulls than the previous week. Then at 9.45am, this beauty floated into view and decided to spend the morning in view feeding on the newly bulldozed waste on the tip edge.

juvenile Iceland Gull Pitsea, Essex 16th April 2016
I mentioned my inability to multitask last weekend. Something I'm not sure holds true with everyone, but I either have to focus on gull leg scrutiny to maximise ring recording, or look elsewhere plumage wise to find the Casps or whatever else. And so this weekend, I decided that with less Lesser Black-backs about (which inevitably have the most interesting ringing histories) it was time to find the Casps... of which I managed a couple of first-winters: -

1st-winter Caspian Gull (bird 1) Pitsea, Essex 16th April 2016 - two images above

1st-winter Caspian Gull (bird 2) Pitsea, Essex 16th April 2016 - two images above
As well as a couple of adult Mediterranean Gulls, there were of course some ringed gulls about and I managed 22 rings, including two Norwegian Great Black-backed Gulls (including one new bird) and a Guernsey ringed adult Herring Gull.
Herring Gull 0FL9 - ringed as a first-summer at Ty Coed, Vale Marais, Guernsey on 29th July 2012; then seen at Chouet Landfill, Guernsey intermittently from August 2012 to March 2014 before being last seen at Pitsea on 5th September 2015
Sunday was mundane on the bird front. Just a single ringed Herring Gull (a regular bird) at Greenwich and little in Rotherhithe. Anyway, there'll be no tip for me for the next couple of weekends, what with stag do's, a weekend away and general life stuff dragging me away from the sweet smell of rubbish each Saturday morning.

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