Monday, 15 July 2013

Bonby, 10th July 2013

Despite hundreds of large gulls using the fields and floods during the spring, it was struggle to pull anything out of any interest. Come July, the start of the traditional gulling season, the first scan of the first group yielded a smart adult mich! That was the first of probably 6 birds: 3 adults, a 4cy, and 2 3cy. No juvs yet.

Things were made easier by the blanket of cloud that sat across the eastern fringe, keeping the light nice and the temperatures (and heat-haze) down. Grey tones were easy to distinguish, and a striking black back on one of the floods stood out a mile. The fact that it was dinky added to the fuscus feel, and a wing-stretch revealed brown coverts mixed into an otherwise adult-looking bird, aging it as a 3cy. But being so advanced is perhaps not quite good enough to consider it proven, and the active primary moult maybe suggests intermedius rather than fuscus... Close, but as always the official line is that it needs to be ringed.

The feeding flock showed nicely in the evening after the tractors had finished, and amongst a couple of michs was another mid-grey mantle but attached to a gleaming white body and small head with a beady eye, snouty colourless bill, and long greyish legs - a 3cy Caspian Gull. Nice.
Back in the home county, and with recent news that LBBs have bred this year for only the second time, the flock of c400 at Candles held a freshly fledged juv! As well as 3 michs (ad, 3cy, 2cy).

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