Tuesday 30 August 2016

Juvenile Caspian Gull at Shawell Sand Quarry

I'm sure this is beginning to look like its easy, but I'm really pleased that I can spot these beasts amongst the thousands of gulls amassing at the site at present. These and other sightings of juvenile Caspian Gulls in England are the result of a great deal of effort over the years by the observers.

With practice the features shown by juvenile gulls can broken down and most times an identification can be made. Its a bit like cracking a code. The image below shows some of the important features when looking for a juvenile Caspian Gull: very white underwings, a full black tail band with the black reaching the outer edge of its tail and a clean white upper tail. The white head lacks the eye mask of a typical juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. Not all Caspian Gulls have such white underwings, but most juveniles and first-winters encountered at Shawell do have nice white underwings. Beware, juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls can have quite pale underwings, but it would be unlikely to encounter one with such clean white underwings as this one.

I found this one after work this evening and for once it stayed around.

Juvenile Caspian Gull, Shawell Sand Quarry, August 30th 2016

Please enjoy watching the video.
Remember, it's best viewed by watching in 720p HD.


  1. Nice Video footage Carl...........

  2. That is a stunner Carl. I'm pretty rusty on gulls these days but seeing the video reminded me that the double wing bar is often surprisingly easy on 1st & 2nd cal Caspian to pick them out in a crowd of gulls (roosts etc). N

  3. Your right Neil, in fact young Caspian Gulls can be quite distinctive and possibly easier than the other similar species. Once you have your eye in they can be straight forward to pick out. It just gets difficult deciding whether or not some of them are from pure stock.