Monday 23 November 2015

Bloody Freezing

I was up an about early on Saturday morning due to my insomniac wife crashing and banging about downstairs. Peeling back the curtains to see what the weather was doing I was quite surprised to see that it was snowing. The snow didn't last long but the freezing weather conditions were in for the day.

I started my adventure at Cotesbach Landfill site, but I was staring into the jaws of a bitter north wind, so I soon retired to the relative shelter of the hedge near to Shawell A5 Lagoons. 

The main highlight was seeing the same small female Caspian Gull that I first saw on November 14th. All of the regular features of a Caspian Gull were on show but in miniature. 

Seeing the pattern of the primary feathers on a Caspian Gull is often quite difficult, which is why good photographs are essential when trying to persuade a records committee that your identification is sound. I was lucky to get a photo of the upperwing of this one which is never easy at Shawell.

As you can see the longest primary on its right wing has a nice white tong on the inner side of the feather and a large white tip. There is still a little black near the tip of P10, but this should disappear as it reaches full adulthood. A few other dark markings on its wing reveal that it isn't quite fully mature.

Sub-adult Female Caspian Gull

Sub-adult Female Caspian Gull

Another highlight this week was the re-sighting of a Herring Gull I first saw in December 2013. It was colour ringed in north-west Norway and as well as visiting Shawell it has also been recorded at Vardo at the very top of Norway. 

Lets hope it warms up a bit for next weekend, but maybe a ''white-winger might just have arrived on the north wind and be heading for Shawell.

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