Saturday, 16 December 2017

Day out at Dungeness 16/12

Had a good day out at Dungeness with Rich and Dante today. We had a six and a half Caspian Gulls - two first-winters (a really nice one and a less nice one), two third-winters and two adults plus a hybrid first-winter.

Most of these were scattered around Burrowes Pit at the RSPB reserve during the day, although the better of the two first-winters showed well near the fishing boats for a little while in the morning, albeit not long enough to really blow it away - but thanks to Martin for letting us know about it. Numbers were generally quite low around the fishing boats today, presumably due to the settled weather conditions.

First-winter Caspian Gull, Dungeness, Kent, 16 December 2017

I also managed a few photos of the hybrid, a bird that I assume is, as Rich would say, 'German muck'. At a distance it looked quite Casp-like but, on better views, clearly wasn't, looking much more like a Herring with some Caspian qualities at closer range. It's quite a washed out bird and, in flight, looks pretty Herring-like with a huge window on the inner primaries. Underwing was pale, being a latte colour.

Caspian x Herring Gull, Dungeness, Kent, 16 December 2017

It was otherwise a very pleasant, if cold, day's birding around the Dungeness peninsula. We enjoyed singles of Long-tailed Duck and Slavonian Grebe at Lade Pits, a pleasing 16 Bewick's Swans and a flyover Merlin from Cockles Bridge and Great Egret, two Ravens and six Goosanders on the RSPB reserve.

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