Perfect weather today for large gulls on the Axe. In the end though the numbers were disappointing and I found nothing unusual in with them, well except for the lingering first-winter Caspian Gull (last seen on 26th Feb). I'm amazed at how infrequently we are seeing this lingering bird, just where is it hiding?
I will be honest, although all views of it were distant and during dreadful weather, when I first picked it up I thought I had a new individual. It just looked big, proper Casp leggy and necky, plus it looked quite a clean bird - all unlike the lingering bird...
|Look at that neck!|
The whole gull flock was then flushed and the Casp took to the air...
|Quality completely naff as its a video still|
|Ditto, but it does at least show some of the classic Casp features|
A minute later once most the gulls had gone with only about 25% of the original flock remaining, I picked it up again, now a little closer. It was then obvious that on plumage it was the lingering bird, with the distinctive patterning on the greater coverts a perfect match...
|Looks really beaky in this shot. Again totally different to how the lingering bird usually looks|
|The weather was so awful this photo almost looks black and white!|
A good lesson in how different postures can alter the overall look of one gull.