Sunday, 29 November 2009

CASPIAN GULL again at Amwell

An adult-type CASPIAN GULL was seen from the Amwell viewpoint from about 15:30 to 16:05 (when it got too dark and the rain became unbearable). Also seen by Bill Last, Mike Ilett, Barry Reed and another observer whose name escapes me.

My video footage shows that the bird is probably a fourth winter:- long, thin greenish yellow bill with dark subterminal band (no red) and an inconspicuous gonys angle- white, rather small head, long neck, with some striping on neck sides- dark eye - thin pink legs, pink feet- pale grey mantle (paler than some Herring Gulls)- traces of dark tail bar- some dark on primary coverts (not visible in swimming/standing bird; far less extensive than depicted in Klaus Malling Olsen's book for 3rd winter birds)- small white primary tips- wing mirror not as extensive as in adult (seen later)I'll try to post some video grabs later.

The same bird was probably seen by Barry a bit earlier yesterday evening, but it flew off a minute or so before I arrived and couldn't be found back in the immense gull roost (and then we got distracted by a white-headed 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull).

Also at Amwell today: 1 drake Goosander, 3 (elusive) Red-crested Pochards on Hollycross; 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull in the morning; 1 1st winter (shortly) and 1 adult in the evening.

Jan Hein Steenis

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