Friday 21 October 2016

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After the excitement of the Siberian Accentor, my only avian adventure this week was half-an-hour at Shawell on Wednesday lunchtime.

Several thousand gulls were at the A5 Lagoons and more 'waves' were continually arriving. You need to visit Shawell and see a mass arrival of gulls coming from the landfill site to fully appreciate a 'Wave of Gulls'.

Sometimes there are so many gulls on the lagoons that it can be difficult to sort through them. Luckily I spotted a new Caspian Gull amongst the hordes. It is either an advanced third-winter or a third-summer/fourth-winter. The large white mirror/tip on P10 is a useful feature for separating Caspian Gulls of this age from Herring Gulls, as is the white tongue also on P10 just visible near the tertials.

An adult gull caught me eye, but this one was more difficult. It showed, in my opinion, mixed features of both Caspian and Herring Gull. Its longest primaries (P10) was similar to a pure Caspian Gull although a little odd looking. It had pale yellow eyes with no obvious dark specks. Its bill was long, but a bit bulbous near the tip. Its legs work long and it often stood very Caspian Gull like.

Underside of P10
Presumed Caspian Gull x Herring Gull

Presumed Caspian Gull x Herring Gull

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