Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Two Caspian Gulls in Rotherhithe!

In previous winters, I have not really hung around Rotherhithe much apart from the regular token daily looks on Greenland Dock on my way to or from other places. However, this year things have changed a bit and along with the O2 and Thames Barrier Park upping their game, the area within walking distance of my home seems to have become a bit more of a magnet for those beasts from the east - Caspian Gulls. It is readily apparent that if you read this blog, a weekend for me isn't a weekend without my fix of this species and so Sunday was a real treat.

With early morning low tides, I had arranged to meet Dante S at the O2 having checked the area of mud off the Hilton Hotel in Rotherhithe. However, that plan really didn't get off the ground because when I rolled up at Pageant Crescent there was this guy smiling back at me: -
1st-winter Caspian Gull (bird 1) Rotherhithe, London 26th February 2017
And then if that wasn't enough, a few minutes later, a second 1st-winter Caspian Gull turned up on the mud: -
1st-winter Caspian Gull (bird 2) Rotherhithe, London 26th February 2017
Now given that I have only ever seen three Caspian Gulls (plus last week's German hybrid) in Rotherhithe, I was fairly happy with things as they stood. I headed to Canada Water to pick Dante up, and where there was a new German-ringed Black-headed Gull along with a Thames ringed bird there too.
Black-headed Gull X0V8 Canada Water, London 26th February 2017. Ringed as an adult on Riether Werder Island, NE Germany on 20th May 2016 in one of Germany's largest Black-headed Gull colonies (c.9,000 pairs)
Back on the Thames, the first of the morning's Caspian Gulls continued to show well and it was nice for somebody else to see share a Rotherhithe Casp: -

1st-winter Caspian Gull (bird 1) Rotherhithe, London 26th February 2017
That is until some inconsiderate tourists decided to spoil the party by running down onto the foreshore. That was that for the day, and with the tide coming in and me venting my frustrations at them, it was time to call it quits and be happy with the two really local Casps.

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