Thursday, 10 February 2011

Another Gulling sesion!!!


With the last gulling sesion at stubbers and chasewater being quite bad ( but there was other birds that day) we had decided that we would do Stubbers again as the iceland gulls was seen again.

After school we headed up there, and it was horendous, the wind was litterally so strong, my scope was constantly being buffeted about, this combined with the light being against us ment that photographing the gulls was a hard task, and i didnt come away with any decent shots despite taking over 100.

A couple of birders dropped in and out, (most from the chase GG shrike), we picked out a YELLOW LEGGED GULL after about 30 mins, and when i was staring to feel the wind through my 2 jackets an interesting gull dropped in.


small dark eye, pear shaped head, a very faint 'shrawl', 'Herring gull shade back colour', long bill, with a small dark mark on a greeny/yellow base colour.

this looks good.....

I waited for a birder to arive and 5 mins after a birder duely appeared and confirmed that i had indeed found an Adult CASPIAN GULL

(yes i accept the photo just only looks like gull, but this was the caspian)

As time wore on, i kept noticing a gull which just looked odd, the bird in general reminded me of a first winter Glauc but the markings were much darker, and the bird had dark primarys, the plumage seemed to be intermidiate with herring, this lead to me believing the bird to be a Herring x Glauc hydrid, and further reaserch after online and in the helm GULLS, has made me think this even more, i know the photo again is hardly anything to go on, but for conparison, for anyone who owns GULL'S, photo 240 on page 203 strongly resembles the bird that was in front of us, but the head was paler being the only visiable difference, i mean i just couldnt see any bird showing that Bill with not having some Glauc influence. the birds size also was noticable, with it being bigger that the herrings. i have a stong feeling that this bird was a 1st winter Gluac x Herring but without better photos i dont think i could prove it.

20c COMMON GULL were about ( most being 1st winter) and 2 GBBG, 3 Teal, 20C Pochard, 5 tufted duck and 40c lapwing and there was 8 Goosander (3 drk)

At this point we decided about going over to highfielfds tip were the caspian had dissapeared to, we had litterally just put my scope down and i dropped directly onto an ICELAND GULL (3w), i had actually totally forgot about this bird, grabbing for my camera, the bird was 'put up' by the working machienary which was being used on the landfil site, the bird didnt land again and after 20 mins the bird flew north (ish) with a flock of 50c gulls and we decided to call it a day with us both now being quite cold and windswept.



Rob.S. said...

Wow what a great days gull watching, i find these very challenging but very rewarding to , well done on finding the Caspain gull , i could do with catching up with one of them in Kent.

Keith said...

I take my hat off to you! To be able to identify these gulls amongst a whole host of others (different plummages, immatures etc) is a great string to your bow!



Martyn Yapp said...

Any other images of the Caspian, it doesn't look right to me looking at this image. The most important thing with Caspian Gull identification is that you get the "full" set of features.

Liam Curson said...

as a gull novice my advice is probably worth next to-nothing, but I'm inclined to agree with regards the Glauc x Herring analysis. certainly and odd bird and bloody well done picking it out!