Thursday, 10 January 2013

Caspian Gulls in York!

Morning walk produced a single Barn Owl sat on a snag in front of a rising sun which was a beautiful start to the day!  Not a lot else though, other than a few Tree Sparrow and a flock of Long-tailed Tit. Mid-morning got a bit more interesting as a Redpoll came into the garden briefly (pictures below).

I decided to have lunch at a local tip (as you do), mainly because Tim had found a 1st winter Caspian Gull there. Unfortunately the bird in question flew off as I was approaching but Tims pictures did look rather nice! As we thought about how to find some gulls we picked up a Merlin shooting through, which sent a flock of Redwing crazy!

A bit of manoeuvring and we found some gulls to look through. We went back and forth through them, picking out a 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gull in amongst the hundreds of Herring Gulls. Suddenly an adult gull with a bright white head popped into view. It looked good for an adult Caspian Gull. We watched it for a while, getting all of the salient features - a highlight of watching this bird was when it did its 'albatross-posture' (see photo 449 in Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America - Olsen, K.M. & Larsson, H. 2003). I got a record shot of the bird on my phone that doesn't really do it any justice, however check Tims blog for photos of this (and the 1st winter bird). Hopefully further trips to the tip over the coming weeks will turn up more interesting birds (Tim also had a 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull here last weekend).

A flock of 18 Pink-footed Geese appeared from the southeast and dropped in and landed out of view.

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