Sunday, 5 February 2017

Gull ID day

Friday saw me join 10 other members of Notts Birders for a gull ID session at Cotham Landfill with Richard Lowe from Derbyshire. We had a good day, although there were long periods when the gulls weren't co-operating, roosting out of sight or wheeling overhead; however, they still spent plenty of time on the tip. 

As well as 2 juv/1st W Glaucous Gulls, we had another interesting 'white-winged' gull, which others have seen here, and at Hoveringham, and Richard had seen in Derbyshire. Structurally, to me, it looked like a Herring Gull, but whilst I have seen plenty of 'pale-tipped' birds (including the one pictured, also present), this bird's wings were striking, and it was also intricately marked. Unfortunately I failed to get any spread-wing shots.

Glauc 1
Glauc 2
'White-winged' Herring Gull
'White-winged' Herring Gull
'White-winged' Herring Gull
'White-winged' Herring Gull
Pale-tipped Herring Gull
The same pale-tipped Herring Gull on 28 Jan

A lot of our time was spent on the two Caspian Gulls present - or perhaps I should say 'Caspian-types'. Richard raised a couple of issues with both birds which threw some doubt on them being pure birds, and which I need to read up on... this rather threw the cat amongst the pigeons for me, but did flag up that I need to more aware of the spectre of hybrids, and make the effort to score birds that I see.

Casp 1
Casp 2 - but too much spotting on the UTCs?

Anyway, it was a good day, and I picked up some useful pointers, and Red Kite was a bonus.

Yesterday, and a couple of hours at Collingham produced the Slavonian Grebe and one of the Smew still present on Ferry Lane Lake, 3 Whooper Swans (2 adults and a juv) between Mons Pool and Meering, and a Marsh Harrier over Meering - my one PWC addition of the weekend. 

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