Sunday 28 July 2013

Back to Gulling

During the last week, I've made three trips to Shawell A5 lagoons and one to the Cotesbach Landfill site. The gulls seem to have arrived in larger numbers this July compared to my observations during July 2012. Yesterday I recorded 19 Yellow-legged Gulls, which I believe is a conservative estimate as the total was most probably much higher. There are already juvenile Herring, Lesser black-backed, Yellow-legged, Common and Black headed Gulls 

Second-Summer Yellow-legged Gull (lefthand bird)

Yesterday's highlight was a third-summer or maybe fourth-winter Caspian Gull, which was at both the landfill site and then later at the A5 Lagoons. Whilst watching it at the landfill site, I was treated to it giving the long call and doing the albatross pose. I managed to catch a couple of half hearted attempts at the albatross pose on video, but unfortunately it flew shortly after I attached my camera to my scope.

The Caspian Gull is the pale grey mantled bird slightly hidden just to the right of centre and then it moves across to the left. Note the black extending into the coverts on the upper wing, which shows it is not yet an adult. The small size of its head and the long slender bill show really well towards the end of the video. So to does the general body shape.

Garsham Roberts on seeing this bird said that Caspian Gulls can never be called ugly and added that this one was really smart  looking - here here!

There was no sign of the Black-necked Grebe this weekend, but I did see it last Wednesday. A juvenile Little Egret was at the A5 Lagoons for a short while yesterday.

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