Saturday, 6 December 2014

Gull Watching in Attercliffe MK11

Take two at the caspian gulls. I was pretty keen to catch up with one and had a little more information so headed down. I waited on the bridge looking over the roof tops where the gulls had been, and there were a few large gulls there. I had a look and got nothing but another couple of birders turned up and he picked out a young gull that he thought might be. I could see why he thought that but I still thought it was a young herring. He made his points though and I began to see it as a casp, seeing the points he made. However, when it flew it had dark under-wings confirming that it was indeed a Herring Gull. Moral of the story? stay true to what you think!
-1st Winter and Adult Herring Gull
-1st Winter Herring Gull
It came to a stage where all the gulls had drifted away until there were none left. The tip was not open so there were no gulls there, but they all seemed to have flown off in the other direction anyway. After another half an hour large numbers of larger gulls came back through and started to settle, on the roof of the tip. As a result I quickly headed over there.
On the roof I had a look through the large gulls and could not see anything. I was a little disappointed, but I kept checking and I soon picked up on a bird that had a black eye. Immediately my heart started racing and I grabbed the camera to get some shots. As soon as I put the camera down the gulls all took off and I lost the bird. This meant I could not get much on it through the scope so I would have to base my i.d. off the camera.
I had a look and could see some features, namely that eye, but there seemed to be too much gony's. Looking back at the photos now its pretty obvious that the body shape is wrong but at the time I could not see much beyond the eye, but I messaged Tim to make sure, noting my concerns about the gony's angle. Tim pointed out the body shape and said that it was not a casp but was close. Fortunately its all good practice so I can get better at this gull malarkey.
-Herring Gull
So that was that, all the gulls left again and I was left with no gulls to look at and certainly no casps. As a result I called it a day and decided to tackle my Christmas shopping instead.

Species List: Herring Gull, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Greater Black-Backed Gull, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Cormorant, Feral Pigeon,

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