Saturday, 10 November 2018

Caspian Gulls at Shawell

I'm pretty sure my Caspian Gull haul today was my best day count so far at Shawell. Herring Gulls were already the most numerous species. This is noteworthy as they generally don't take over from the Lesser black-backed Gulls until December.

In total I recognised 13 different Caspian Gulls: nine first calendar-years, two second calendar-years and two third calendar-years.

First Calendar-Year Caspian Gull - note how far its moult has progressed. Some tertials and greater coverts have been replaced with second-generation feathers.

Some of the gulls are photographable as they leave the sandpit and head off over Gibbet Lane. I struck lucky again when one of the colour-ringed birds flew over me. LU4T was ringed at Pitsea Landfill site on 20th November 2013. It has previously been seen in France.

Gulls in the Sandpit

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