Saturday, 11 December 2010

The one that kind of got away

I actually found what I think might possibly be a rare bird on the patch today. What appeared to be a decent looking candidate for a sub-adult Caspian Gull was on the foreshore just past the pier in front of the ship 'Victory'. Aptly named! It was by itself and stood out initially because of it's quite long and straight looking bill and just looked a bit weird. Once I got my bins on it it showed dark eyes, a long parallel-sided pale yellow bill with a black sub-terminal band and some streaking on the neck heading up to the rear of the head. It's legs looked pink (although partially submerged) but didn't give a bubblegum pink or spindly look like they're supposed to. It still had a little brown on the primary coverts but I never saw it in flight so couldn't assess exactly how much.

I legged it home and came back with my camera thinking that a gull that wasn't even stretching would still be there but the gull was nowhere to be seen! I've seen one bird pointed out to me that I was happy was a Caspian Gull before but this gull did seem to stick out quite a bit (although I didn't get great views of it) and from coming home and doing a little bit of research it looks as though it might well have been one.

The ringed Herring Gull HR9T was still present by the Eyot as was a single big-bully Great Black-Backed Gull. A flyover Sparrowhawk being mobbed by 12 Goldfinch was an interesting sight. A Kestrel was also hunting over Duke's Meadows and there seems to have been a noticeable increase in the number of Moorhen on the river over the past couple of weeks, probably as a result of the freeze up on most other water bodies.

A ringed Canada Gull with code UUZ was among other non-ringed compatriots at the Eyot as well. I can't find a ringing scheme with this sort of code on cr-birding so I'm not sure quite where this bird's come from.

Very noisy image of the ringed Canada Gull. 

Not the Gull I wanted to Photograph.

Oh and thanks to 28 MPs of the Yellow Half of the Tory party my future in Education now lies in doubt and the hands of market forces. Not to mention the EMA that I rely upon to purchase books, cover travel costs to sixth-form and to allow me to take advantage of opportunities like volunteering schemes. I've been kettled before and I'll be kettled again until this coalition realises that the British people will not stand for these regressive moves. And because according to the BBC this political movement is one to the sound of dubstep, I'll do my bit. Have some dubstep :)

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