Thursday, 12 September 2013

Candles, 12th Sept 2013

standing out from the juvenile crowd

Despite there being only c400 gulls at the tip this morning during the 45 mins I was there, there was only one that mattered - the second of the juv Caspian Gulls, last seen on 29th August. A beauty.

compare heads and bills...
...lovely white underwing, pale primary window
what a belter

Also at least 4 juv michs still about, but didn't see any older birds this time.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Candles, 5th Sept 2013

Another homeward-bound visit was frustrating in the heat-haze, and the tipping area is less easily viewable now. However a satisfactory total of 9 michs (3 ads, 3cy, 2 2cy, 3 juvs) was attained, and the original big juv Caspian Gull made an appearance.

Goole Fields, 3rd-4th Sept 2013

It's that time of year again when the fields are alive with the sounds of harvest, and the gulls are spoilt for choice as to where to dine. The Lincolnshire Wolds flocks have been quiet for a few weeks, but a sudden flurry of combining and ploughing on my site on the northern edge of Thorne Moors has seen the arrival of upto 1,000 LBBs. A dusting of michs during the summer suddenly swelled to 14 in a flock of 380 LBBs on 3rd, and even from a distance I noticed a strikingly sepia juvenile. Closer inspection confirmed my initial thoughts -another juv Caspian Gull! Just a shame it was so late in the day when I found it, and then it was off to roost on the moors.

The next day the gulls were slow to gather, but eventually 450 LBBs had amassed in a ploughed field with 15 michs, and later on some friends had another 9 michs amongst 360 LBBs at the other end of the site - 24 michs in total! An elegant clean-headed adult caught the eye, and its washed out bare parts and slightly paler mantle pointed towards an obvious conclusion. However the retained outer primary looked wrong - a neat white mirror isn't what you'd expect on an ad Caspian Gull, but then examination of the photos revealed a worn P10 with a big white tip nestled behind the mirrored P9 - spot on.