Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Lunchtime at Shawell

There wasn't much action initially at Shawell this lunchtime, but a group of around 100 gulls eventually arrived and amongst them were two maybe three Caspian Gulls.

The first was a small adult female, which could easily have been overlooked. Her Caspian Gull features were quite subtle. Luckily she was having a good wash, which is always followed by a wing flap. I managed to capture the underwing primary pattern that, although a bit blurred, shows the typical primary pattern. The long white tip to the longest primary (P10) is visible.

Female Caspian Gull

Shortly after the adult, I spotted a first-winter. The photo doesn't really do her justice. I would be great to be able to get closer to the gulls.

As the gulls began to climb out onto the bank I spotted a gull, which had some Caspian Gull like features. Its bill was long and parallel edged, its legs were long and its primary pattern looked OK for Caspian Gull, but structurally I wasn't convinced. It head was a bit bulky and its eyes looked quite large although quite dark. It is probably a hybrid Caspian x Herring Gull, but its difficult to be certain, as it could be just an odd Herring Gull.

There are still thousands of gulls in the area, so hopefully some more 'white-wingers' soon.


  1. Its got to be worth putting a couple of rafts on there Carl, just to get gulls closer for ring reading opportunities.

  2. It would be good to encourage them to show off their bling. Of course I would have to re-visit the idea with Lafarge.

  3. In my book first winter birds like the one today take some beating; very nice. Cheers Neil