Sunday 5 June 2016

First-Summer Caspian Gull at Shawell

Recently, for to various reasons, I haven't been over to Shawell as often as normal. May is probably the quietest month of the year, so hopefully I didn't miss that much, but yesterday I was presently surprised to see around 1000 gulls at the landfill site. Most of them were immature Lesser Black-backed Gulls, but that many gulls might just attract something interesting.

I moved to the lagoons at lunchtime and the first thing I did was accidentally flush a Common Buzzard that was right in front of the viewing area. This in turn flushed all the gulls - at least I had time for some gardening after that. The lovely trees planted by Lafarge are getting too tall and the stinging nettles needed their heads cutting off. 

Eventually a 'wave of gulls' came in from the landfill site. Amongst them was a very distinctive first-summer gull that had some blackish spots of the mantle and an obvious dark bar across the coverts. Otherwise it was quite typical of a second-calendar year Caspian Gull. Checking photos on the Gull Research Organisation's website I found that the dark bits are typical of a June 2CY.

First-Summer Caspian Gull, Shawell A5 Lagoons, Leicestershire 04/06/16
First-Summer Caspian Gull, Shawell A5 Lagoons, Leicestershire 04/06/16
Note the Pale Tongues on the Primaries and its Moulting its Inner Primaries

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