Today I had my first Wednesday lunch break of the Year at Shawell and, you guessed it, there was a couple of Caspian Gulls in residence. Both appear to be ones that I've not seen before. I briefly saw a third-winter on the opposite shore, but it flew off just after arriving. Next an adult appeared on the bank between the lagoons and it was a bit more cooperative than the third-winter. The adult appeared to have short legs but that was down to the height I was viewing it at, because as it moved up the bank I could see that the legs were typical of most Caspian Gulls. The third-winter reappeared on the same bank as the adult and gave prolonged views.
|Adult Caspian Gull, Shawell A5 Lagoons, 07/01/15, (2015.6)|
The longest primary P10 was still growing and was just slightly shorter than P9, so it will look even longer winged in the near future. This one was quite large so most probably a male. The image above is quite typical of Caspian Gulls on the bank as they all seem to be quite sleepy when resting on it.
|Third-winter Caspian Gull, Shawell A5 Lagoons, 07/01/15 (2015.5)|
The third-winter had noticeably long legs, but in the photo above a bit of each leg is hidden by the grass. Its bill has a bit of a droop to it, but its length against depth ratio fits the norm for Caspian Gull. Defining where to drawn the line between pure and hybrid with this species is very complex as at times different experienced observers will have conflicting opinions.