Sunday, 1 October 2017

Another day and two more Casps

With strong southwesterly winds, any chance of passerine migration around London was going to be limited. So I opted with a sleep in to rejuvenate, and then met up with Dante mid morning. After the inevitable boredom in Russia Dock Woodland, with just a Chiffchaff and a couple of Goldcrests to show for our efforts, we headed to Hornchurch CP where I got a second helping of the Spotted Crake. And it was Dante's first, and it showed fine in the gloom, despite a load of cows munching through its favoured habitat, loads of dogs barking and the usual Sunday morning plebs shouting the odds unnecessarily.

So that was that, and it was back to the serenity of Thames Barrier Park with eight loaves of bread and a blustery wind 'in your face' wind. Loads of birds were about, just as the first mud was becoming exposed - often the best time here, as it is the first place to get mud on the ebbing tide (and the last mud on the incoming tide). As it turned out in the couple of hours we were here, Dante and I had two 1st-winter Caspian Gulls (both new individuals) and nine Yellow-legged Gulls (two adults, 3rd-winter, two 2nd-winters (including 'pinky', a distinctive bird from last winter and four 1st-winters). All very nice, though as the years go on, these Caspian Gulls become more variable and you'll notice how retarded moult wise the second bird is: -
Caspian Gull bird one

1st-winter Caspian Gull Thames Barrier Park, London 1st October 2017
Caspian Gull bird two

1st-winter Caspian Gull Thames Barrier Park, London 1st October 2017
And so another week of work begins.

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