I'm sure this is beginning to look like its easy, but I'm really pleased that I can spot these beasts amongst the thousands of gulls amassing at the site at present. These and other sightings of juvenile Caspian Gulls in England are the result of a great deal of effort over the years by the observers.
With practice the features shown by juvenile gulls can broken down and most times an identification can be made. Its a bit like cracking a code. The image below shows some of the important features when looking for a juvenile Caspian Gull: very white underwings, a full black tail band with the black reaching the outer edge of its tail and a clean white upper tail. The white head lacks the eye mask of a typical juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. Not all Caspian Gulls have such white underwings, but most juveniles and first-winters encountered at Shawell do have nice white underwings. Beware, juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls can have quite pale underwings, but it would be unlikely to encounter one with such clean white underwings as this one.
I found this one after work this evening and for once it stayed around.
|Juvenile Caspian Gull, Shawell Sand Quarry, August 30th 2016|
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