Caspian Gull ~ 1st. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 13.09.14

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

At first I thought we had found a new Caspian, a strikingly contrasting bird with fine uppertail bars, unfortumately it didn't stay around, and wasn't refound for the rest of the afternoon ..
A short session about 20 minutes before it vanished ..

Photography was hampered by North East winds, which when we're by the boats blows into your face and means the birds are always flying away from you ... Hard work !!
The birds end up with unsightly shadows across them because of the light coming from the west ..

But we still had a Caspian for the record ..








Compare the left-hand image from 25.08.14 ...

Look at the median covert ?


Is it the same bird ?

I think so ... 






Caspian Gull ~ 1st. W ~ Smygehuk, Sweden - 07.09.14

Thursday, 11 September 2014

We made our way from first light checking harbours etc moving westerly towards the airport for our early evening flight ...
From Simrishamn we drove straight to Ystad and continued on route 9 checking and finding only the usual gulls, after a couple of hours it seemed that maybe, we had done a wrong un !!
There were hardly any fishing harbours on the south coast until we got to Smygehuk, this was a tiny little port with c.40 large gulls and mixed in was 3 Caspian's, the sun was behind us making this a great morning site for photography ...

3 Caspian's & good light = Game On !!



This bird turned out to be the star of the trip, it loved the game and kept coming back round showing off ..



Quite a few replaced 2nd. gen feathers and the ventral bulge is very pronounced in flight ...




A big lump of a bird, probably a male ..
That really liked to play our game ..




In total we had c.27 Caspian's all 1st.cy birds but there were so many more we missed at the two prime sites of Simrishamn & Skillinge ...




Here's a less advanced 1.st cy bird that just didn't really want to join in, and the 3rd bird flatly refused to !!


A great short trip at will be repeated very soon on week days !!!


  

Caspian Gulls ~ Simrishamn, Sweden - 05-06.09.14

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A Ryanair flight to Malmo and an hours drive had us at our base by mid-afternoon, Simrishamn, Sweden ...
Staying at Bengtssons Loge ..

We checked out the fishery roofs, harbours and Revet (reef) this is the rocks to the north of the harbour ..
In with the 1500+ gulls we found 14 st.cy Caspians most way out of range of the camera but a great start ..


The reef was our best chance for some images, so slowly set about teasing some closer thinking we've got days of this action !!



Once all the geese went c. 500+ then late evening more gulls came in ..

We also tried Brantavik .. 4 . 1st.cy Caspians ...
And at Skillinge .. 3+ . 1st.cy Caspians, there was more here but walking the path pushed the birds off so we left them to roost ..

  

Saturday the 6th, where had all the gulls gone !!
It must of been due to no fishing boats coming in most had left ...
From Sandhammer in the south up to Vitemolla checking all harbours and flocks, finding hardly any gulls for our efforts ...
Back at Revet, Simishamn it was the waiting game for the bloody geese to go eventually 3 Caspians all 1st.cy ..



With a few record images of the closer birds that were along way off ..





This next bird was ringed at Slanica, Slovakia on the 17.06.

152:S - white ring



The greater coverts seem quite checkered, is this within variation ?

What with No boats and 500 geese, will it get any better tomorrow ..

Caspian Gull ~ 1st. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 25.08.14

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Bank Holiday Monday and its raining, the forecast is for it to rain all day, they were right !!

We set-up at the puddles near the fishing boats at Dungeness, Kent.
Once the flock was settled and not so flighty, it steadily increased in number, more & more gulls kept coming in ..

Right at the back was a 1st. W. Caspian the same bird from the 17.08.
We coaxed it in to stroking distance ...

Caspian Gull ~ 1st. W

 








Given the conditions, well worth the effort ...

Caspian Gull ~ Juv ~ Dungeness, Kent - 23.08.14

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

From our usual position near the fishing boats at Dungeness, Kent, Me and Richard had the good company of Chiddy for the afternoon ...
In the ever growing flock were 4x 1st. W. Yellow-legs and a few flyby Meds ..

Early evening and our 2nd Casp of this season appeared a faded Juvenile bird, It doesn't look like the post-juvenile moult has started with no 2nd gen feathers that i can see ..

Tom Lowe spotted one replaced scapular that i missed ...

Caspian Gull ~ Juvenile









A nice 3rd. W or Adult bird coming in with the feeding flock would be my wish ..