Saturday 24 January 2015

Adult Caspian Gull

Popping home to Lincolnshire is always a good excuse for re-visiting Dogsthorpe and Tanholt tips - sites I spent so much time at as a teen. I still vividly remember seeing my first Caspian Gull here, more or less a decade ago now - and this bird at Dogsthorpe still remains one of the 'best' cachinnans that I've seen in Britain.

After briefly calling in yesterday without success, I returned to Dogsthorpe this morning. Bright and breezy conditions are the worst conditions for viewing Peterborough's gulls - for whatever reason, it makes them irritatingly skittish and they rarely settle in such weather. Today proved no exception and so I was frankly amazed when literally the only gull on the tip pit as I arrived was this stunner:

These are by far the best views I've had of adult Caspian Gull in Peterborough and it follows hot on the heels of the two showy juvenile Glaucs on New Year's Eve. True to form it remained for no more than a minute before flying off. As you'll see in the below images the pattern on p7 is striking - a black 'blob' is separate to the black subterminal markings. The primary pattern is also asymmetrical, with a complete 'W' on p5 right wing but just a black spot on the left - really interesting bird.

Otherwise had a third-winter Casp but nothing else despite thousands of gulls present. Checked the roost at CEGB reservoir which was woeful.

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