Am I Gull able?After tedious mild weather for weeks, it snowed this morning! Big flakes for a short while. Had to get out there, but where are the gloves and why didn't I empty my Wellies of spiders before I put them on? Finally, checking the Bush Wood football pitches through the rain indicated a substantial hard weather movement of birds had taken place, there were about 75% fewer gulls.
Jubilee didn't look much better, a male Pochard, a pair of Shovelers, a few gulls of course. Many birders get off on gulls, practice the art of feather tracts, discuss aging features and anchor marked tertials etc. I know I should do this, but I find gulls highly variable and just a little technical and scary. One 1st winter gull by the waters edge looked distinctly odd though, quite a small "large" gull but with a whitish flat head, dark-eye, long straight bill, long-legged - hmm....
The main thing is not to panic, so I extracted my camera from under the "waterproof", took of my sodden gloves and took a shot. The second didn't fire, flat battery! It was of course pissing down, so I looked out the spare battery (da dah! last time I ran out I missed shots of a perched patch Short-eared Owl FFS) reloaded, aimed and fired of a few before my fingers became completely numb. Here:
The focus and detail isn't great but I've put it out as a possible 1st winter Caspian Gull. So far I've had some support, but please comment, potential patch tick out there to be slagged off.
Oh! nearly forgot, the guy's caught up with a duck, just one female Goldeneye on Alex and later on SOM. My pictures are of course rubbish, but Nick's got some good ones. Some people just like the pretty stuff.