Wednesday, 18 January 2017

A Trip to Romania to See Some Caspian Gulls

The challenge of identifying Caspian Gulls is understanding how variable they can be and understanding features that may be OK but could also be a result of hybridisation. 

The problems is that they are not all text book specimens. Many, especially females, have unremarkable length bills and legs and they are not all snouty.

The closest Caspian Gulls to Britain come from the German mixed gull colonies, so we receive a few challenging individuals here and if you are not careful you can become become paranoid.

Anyway I decided to go further east after travelling to Germany last April. I chose Bucharest in Romania and I wasn't disappointed. Dawn and I stayed in the Herastrau Hotel in the Hesrastrau Park. A large lake in the park attracts many gulls.

It had snowed for 14 hours before our arrival, so the park looked as pretty as a picture. During our four day stay we never left the park apart from to visit another park across the road. As well as the gulls there were plenty of woodland birds including five species of woodpecker and I scored with Pygmy Cormorant, which was a lifer. The park was large enough for us to walk 11 miles one day.

The Caspian Gulls put on a fine show and as well as getting lots of pictures to help unravel the complexities of identification I also got some stunning sequences of them fighting.

1 comment:

  1. Nice images mate, looks like you had a rewarding trip carl!!