Saturday, 10 March 2012

A (Not Quite So) Quick Catch Up

Well this post is a little overdue!

I haven't really had any birding time over the past few days at all. Although after band practice on Thursday I had a quick look along the Estuary. Down by the tram sheds, there I was scanning over the Gull flock with my bins.... first-winter Caspian Gull!

They really do stand out, I knew what it was even before I had looked at it through my telescope. Obviously though, telescope views were needed to confirm it. What a looker...

Certainly the best photos I've ever taken of a Caspo!

For me, the main 'punch in the face' feature is not JUST the white head. This feature alone regularly produces a few red herrings (no pun intended!). For example just before I found this bird I had seen two first-winter Herring Gulls with remarkably white heads. Also of course, second winter Herring Gulls can appear very white headed too - especially at this time of year. But it is the COMBINATION of the white head AND fine brown streaking which extends up the back and around the sides of the neck. You can see it well in all the above photos.

My favourite photo by far is the upper photo as it really shows the 'head held high' jizz of a Casp well.

These next few crappy shots show a nice distinct black tail band (which I actually think is on the thick side for a 'classic' Caspo - but I do know almost nothing about them!), few black spots in the white tail band, and nice white underwings...

See - I said they were crappy!

I came back again mid afternoon, and it was still there. The light was truly awful, but I got a couple more photos with my Lumix (all the above photos were taken digiscoped with my Nikon). Here's a photo showing the under and upperwing well. Check out that distinct greater covert bar on the upperwing, along with the three of four paler inner primaries...

What a poser!

And this pic shows very well the size of its hooter...


When I found this bird I thought this was a new one, as it was a small bird. When I say small, I mean the same size, or maybe a teeny bit larger, than the surrounding argenteus Herring Gulls. I'm used to seeing bug hulky Caspian Gulls. I also felt this bird wasn't very 'leggy' compared with our previous Caspos, with only ever-so-slightly and subtly longer tibia, and overall marginally narrower legs. It turns out though this is the same bird that was present on the Axe in late Feb.

OK, that's enough about Gulls! I have currently got a net up in the front garden, and just 'netted' yet another new male Bullfinch! They keep on coming!

And now, to moths....

A week ago last night, I had a moth trap out and caught just ONE moth. Last night though I captured 12, which was a vast improvement! They were:

1 Early Moth
1 March Moth
3 Double-striped Pug
2 Hebrew Character
2 Common Quaker
1 Small Quaker
2 Early Grey

So nothing outstanding, all the regular fare. Which means no moth photos for you yet I'm afraid!

1 comment:

  1. That's more than I caught last night! Just Small & Common Quaker plus Early Grey for me.