Saturday, 3 December 2016

A Paler Shade of Grey

Since arriving back from Portugal I have had a few successful trips to Shawell, but it has been quite hard work. Why? Well here's the list: men with guns, men with dogs, buzzards, cormorants, herons,  peregrines and foxes. I would quite happily shove the 12 bore rifles somewhere where the sun doesn't shine. 

For the next few months Herring Gulls are the dominant species at Shawell. Today I read colour-rings on no less than 13 Herring Gulls, which is the best total I've ever had for this species since I began recording colour-rings at Shawell back in January 2012.

The highlights from my Wednesday lunchtime visit and today were three Caspian Gulls and a colour-ringed Lithuanian large gull. It seems to be mostly Herring Gull, but I wouldn't rule out a bit of Caspian Gull blood.

Today's Caspian Gull was a first-winter, quite an advanced one. Not only has it replaced its scapulars, but also many of its coverts including some outer greater coverts. The other first-winter this week was not so advanced. The advanced bird was also there last Saturday.

First-Winter Caspian Gull

Lithuanian Ringed Herring Gull

The Lithuanian gull is the first colour-ringed large gull from that country that I have seen at Shawell. I have had a colour-ringed Black-headed Gull from there though. It was ringed as a chick during May 2015 at Kretuono ež. Didžioji sala, Švenčionių r., Lithuania. 55°14'45"N 26°04'45"E.

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