Wednesday 25 October 2023

Caspian Gull Influx

I finished work on Monday (23rd) and headed straight for Coronation Corner where the only flock of gulls on the Estuary were loafing.  About ten minutes later out of nowhere this absolutely stunning first-winter Caspian Gull appeared right in the middle of the flock...

Such a lovely bird and absolutely massive! 

Looking a lot like it has eaten too much! Typical Casp belly right there

Nice flukey underwing shot


This was a big, full-bodied bird, and at the time I thought looked similar to my bird on 20th October - which was also a bit of a brute whilst still showing classic Casp structure.  However thanks to some comments from Gav regarding some feather detail, and the fact the bill of the 23rd bird is clearly so much paler (which by the way is a great first-winter Casp feature at this stage of the autumn/winter) I am inclined to think it is a new bird.    

Earlier on the 23rd, visting birder Phil Bentley reported two Caspian Gulls (both first-winters) and an adult Yellow-legged Gull on the Estuary from Tower Hide.  He later shared a pic of one of the Casps on Twitter...


Glad you got the pic Phil - not bad at all for a phone-scope shot!

Amazingly it was clearly a different bird to either of my two!  So that is three different first-winter Caspian Gulls in just four days - possibly four if Phil's first bird wasn't any of my two (although he thinks it may have been the bird from 20th).   

It must be all these east winds! Let's hope it continues...

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