Friday, 28 July 2017

Caspian and Bonaparte's Gulls plus a Black-headed Gull from Lithuania

There seems to be a fair few gulls on the move locally. Not least was this 1st-summer Caspian Gull at Thames Barrier Park on Saturday. It's a new individual into London, and not one of the remnants from last winter. First seen by David DL on Friday morning, and nice to catch up on this relatively matted, dark mantled bird - a real brute too: -

1st-summer Caspian Gull Thames Barrier Park, London 22nd July 2017
Other than this bird, it has been nice to find Yellow-legged Gulls really locally. No juveniles yet in Rotherhithe but the mud by the Hilton Hotel continues to draw them in - three on 22nd July (two 2nd-summers and a 1st-summer) being the highest count and my first juvenile here today - and a regular adult on Greenland Dock continued to linger until 16th July.
adult Yellow-legged Gull Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe 16th July 2017
near-adult Yellow-legged Gull River Thames, Rotherhithe 16th July 2017

1st-summer Yellow-legged Gull River Thames, Rotherhithe 15th July 2017
 Little else doing though, so a visit to the wader mecca of Cliffe with Jamie P and Dante on 15th was in order. Great birds but poor, distant views - a really early juvenile Marsh Sandpiper and 10(!) Black-winged Stilts, three adults and seven juveniles! Gone are the days when Sammy or the odd vagrant was your only sniff of a chance with this species. And yesterday, 27th July, Dante and I made a quick trip out to Oare Marshes where the regular adult Bonaparte's Gull was showing well, and the wader fest contained a nice adult Curlew Sandpiper. A white-ringed juvenile Mediterranean Gull there too had been ringed in Antwerp in mid-June, so that was good to see, as was a single Garganey.
adult Bonaparte's Gull Oare Marshes, Kent 27th July 2017
On return to London, we stopped off at Thamesmead in the hope of baiting a few large gulls in. However, this didn't happen and we had to be content with the smalls which included this inquisitive adult Black-headed Gull all the way from Lithuania (awaiting full ring details): -
Lithuanian-ringed Black-headed Gull Thamesmead, London 27th July 2017

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