Wednesday 22 October 2014

A Three Caspian Gull Lunch Break

I was happy with three in a day at the weekend, but three in my lunch break today is even more impressive (Paul I did ask them to fly south towards Guernsey, but I'm not sure if they were listening).

The first one was none other than Polish colour ringed PADZ, last seen back in August. Another adult, which I'm fairly sure is one of the ones present last weekend, was preening on the same bit of shoreline. If that wasn't enough I spotted what is most likely a fourth-winter on the water. All too soon I had to continue on my journey to Northampton, but it had been a good dinner break. I was hoping to read two new colour rings, as I'm just two short of 400 different colour ringed gulls at the site, but alas you'll have to wait for that gripping story for a little while.

Adult Caspian Gull

The adult above was very obliging as it lifted its wings and showed off its new P10 (longest primary feather). This nicely demonstrates one of the important features your looking for when trying to get a positive ID on an adult. Although not visible in the photo above, P5 has a dark mark on the upper side of the feather. Also its legs were only moderately long. On trait scoring, I scored it a six or possibly a seven, so it would seem to me that it is a good Caspian Gull.

Fourth-winter or Adult Caspian Gull

The one above was the third of the day and is possibly not a full adult. The dark markings on the bill are heavier than on typical adults, which suggests it is a fourth-winter. 

It might be a bit repetitive talking about all these Caspian Gulls, but as well as writing these reports for anyone interested in gulls, I also find it a great way to keep a personal diary. 


  1. Carl - ouch...another painful posting! I looked hard again today at Chouet Landfill - but nothing even remotely close!

  2. Another very informative "gull" post Carl. My lack of knowledge about gulls is very limited indeed, ignorance I suppose? Maybe I need a guided introduction to them?

  3. Keep looking Paul, I'm sure a Casp will make its way to Guernsey soon.

  4. Hi Rid, gulls don't have the eye appeal of owls and kingfishers and they have a habit of pinching chips, but the identification challenges posed by them and the scope for research makes them great if you get the bug. Let me know if you ever fancy a few hours 'sea gulling'.