Monday, 19 November 2012

More From Shawell

I made another visit to the Shawell A5 Lagoons at the weekend, which proved very fruitful. I read the codes on six colour ringed birds, including a Lesser Black-backed Gull ringed in southern Spain and another in Norway. I also read the ring on an adult Herring Gull, which was good as Lesser Black-backed Gulls account for far more ringed gull species at the site. This one had been ringed in Gloucester, so not quite so exotic as the other two birds. I have now read 65 different colour rings so far this year at the site.

Herring Gull (BYS)
The weather was quite poor during the morning on Saturday, but eventually the cloud disappeared and the sun came out.

Shawell A5 Lagoons
The number of Yellow-legged Gulls visiting the lagoons has now fallen from the peak earlier in the autumn, but I did see a smart adult and also the first 1st-winter I've seen there so far this autumn.

Adult Yellow-legged Gull
The star of the show, however, was an adult Caspian Gull, which came onto the lagoons three times during the afternoon.

Adult Caspian Gull
Adult Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls are a little easier to spot at present as they are looking pristine in comparison to most of the Herring Gulls. The Caspian was a real stunner, but I checked it out thoroughly and it ticked all of the boxes as far as I could see. The usual features, including the dark eyes, the slowly sloping forehead and the general profile, were visible. Also the primary pattern on the wings was spot on. The underwings were very white which really stood out when the bird did a fly past. 

Underwing Pattern of the Caspian Gull (compare it with the YLG above)

A fox does a circuit of the lagoons on a regular basis, occasionally two of them. This image was digiscoped, but it's not bad. It slipped past me out of view along the shore of the lagoon while I waited patiently with my DSLR - next time!

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