Saturday 18 October 2014

Three Caspian Gull Day at Shawell

The second-winter Caspian Gull with the green colour-ring was back at Shawell A5 lagoons today and once again it was snoozing on the bank between the lagoons. I suggested to Steve Nichols that it was most probably the same gull that we had seen the previous weekend and when it stood up I was pleased to see the colour-ring. We were able to confirm the ring read XNDJ, so it was the same gull. It has injured its right leg and it walks with a slight limp.

Second-winter Yellow-legged Gull - XNDJ

Second-winter Caspian Gull - Green XNDJ

Dr. Ronald Klein has kindly confirmed the location of the breeding colony it originates from and where it was ringed. It is the same site that XDFV also comes from. The colony is found at an inland lake called Grabendorfer See.

Location of Caspian Gull Breeding Colony - Yellow Pin

Just prior to finding XNDJ, an adult Caspian Gull appeared amongst the gulls resting on the water. It was re-growing its primaries, so it was difficult at first to get a positive identification. 

It looked, as they often do, quite round headed when resting on the water, but once it swam towards the shallows and stood up its appearance altered significantly. When stood up it took on a tall and slender appearance and its head looked more angular or pear shaped. The bill also appeared longer when it was standing up.

Adult Caspian Gull

Late in the afternoon the same adult Caspian Gull that was present last Sunday put in another appearance. It was easy to separate it from the adult we had seen earlier due to it having obviously paler eyes.

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