Thursday, 31 January 2013

Ducks and Seagulls

I recently made a count of 308 Wigeon at Shawell A5 Lagoons, which is my best count there so far. They are more or less resident at the site this winter. 

Eurasian Wigeon

During the same expedition I took myself over to Cotesbach (Shawell) landfill site, where I was lucky enough to find a 1st-winter Caspian Gull.
Some gull watchers describe 1st-W Casps as the smartest of our gulls. I certainly wouldn't argue with that as far as the large gulls go, but I would think a Ross's Gull could give it a run for its money. However, Ross's Gulls are a bit difficult to find in Leicestershire, so I was very happy to spot this 1st-W Caspian Gull. This is the second 1st-W I've found recently, but it was raining when I found the first one so no pics.

1st-winter Caspian Gull
1st-winter Caspian Gull
1st-winter Caspian Gull

This is a classic bird: four coloured (white, grey, brown, black); white head, brown greater coverts forming a bar; dark tertials with faint pale edges;  sloping forehead; parallel edged bill; dark beady eyes (when they weren't shut); long spindly legs and a hanging rear belly.

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