Friday, 13 November 2015

Porth Ysgaden - Caspian Gull?

Spent a cold but very enjoyable three and a half hours with Eddie aseawatching at Porth Ysgaden this morning. Highlights were  9 Great Northern, 8 Manxies, a distant skua, possibly Pom, 4 Pale bellied Brents,  sanderling , Golden plover, 11 Med Gull and lots of Auks kits and fulmar . Best bird was a large gull that passed right in front of us which immediately struck me as something odd. A large pale headed gangly gull  in second yr plumage.The  mantle and scaps were grey and the wings were stripy with an obvious band of  dark secondaries. It was oddly pale for  a Herring Gull and reminded me of those pale frosty juv Greater Black Backs, but the structure was all wrong. The head was small and tapered and pale making the dark eye and a few smudges behind it stand out.  Only when I noticed the huge long bill did the penny drop! By this stage the gull had passed us and was going out of sight the other side of the wall there. After getting my camera out of the rucksack and eventually out of its case I ran round after it into the wind and got a few poor shots as it hugged the coast heading west. It was all over in a matter of seconds.
I'm cautiously sure it is Caspian Gull but admit to not being a guller by any means. I usually identify my large gulls according to which country I'm in! Anyway I'd be interested in any comments anyone may have on these (really bad) pictures. All cropped but otherwise not mucked about with at all.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Rhys,
    I am no gull expert by any means but comparing your photos with mine taken in Southport back in August of a Caspian Gull I would say you are correct with your identification on head shape and bill alone,although the bill on yours does look rather long in a couple of the images,but that could be just the angle you took the images at. BRIAN