Monday, 18 December 2017

Snaresbrook Casp and a Danish OAP

I went out for the morning yesterday, with the intention of doing more than I actually did - started out late (couldn't rise from my slumber) and finished early (rain and general gloom). Nevertheless, I'm not one to turn down a Caspian Gull, and so first port of call (after the habitual check of Rotherhithe) was Eagle Pond, Snaresbrook. Not a place I'd been to before, but after a brief wait the 3rd-winter Caspian Gull came in nicely: -

3rd-winter Caspian Gull Eagle Pond, Snaresbrook, London 17th December 2017
This bird isn't an absolute classic, in that it lacks any mirror on P9 that you'd probably expect at this age and whether it's just me, but I'd like a smaller eye. Other than that, it felt ok with a bit of remnant Casp-like neck streaking, decent mantle tone and parallel-sided bill etc. But if I were a betting man, I'd edge towards one of those Casps from the western edge of their range (also affectionately known as 'German muck'). Wherever it is from, it passes the cachinnans litmus test these days though I'm sure that we're all becoming more lenient with age (and yellow 'X' rings)!

Meanwhile, down the road in Wanstead I managed to round the day off nicely with three Common Gull rings (two old faithfuls - from Norway and Pitsea - and a metal ringed Danish bird which proved to be a rather exciting OAP): -
adult Common Gull Wanstead, London 17th December 2017 - metal ringed as a chick at Lille Svelmø, Fåborg, west of Copenhagen, Denmark on 21st June 1995. So 22 years old! 
3rd-winter Common Gull Wanstead, London 17th December 2017 - JZ66, a regular wintering bird here having been ringed in Oslo as a 1st-winter in September 2015

And that was that. Another weekend, a load of gulls. All that a guy needs to keep him away from anything to do with Christmas, thankfully.

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