Caspian Gull ~ 1st. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 21.12.14

Monday, 22 December 2014

It seems like its been ages since the last Caspian to come in close enough for the camera but finally today ended the wait ...

Earlier in the roost behind the Fish Hut at Dungeness was a 1st. W bird with the usual bleached and faded coverts, within minutes of finding the bird it was flushed by children chasing the flock ...

After 2 hrs at the puddles, and still no sign of the earlier bird this beauty dropped in !!

A different 1st. W bird, with fresh non faded coverts still looking a nice chocolate colour, something which I haven't seen before in a December bird, then the doubt sets in, is it, isn't it !!

There's a few points that bother me ...

The fresh looking coverts.
The lack of pattern on undertail.
Underwing pattern.
And lack of barring on uppertail.

All these probably come within variation ..

Just not use to seeing a Caspian looking so fresh & smart in December ..

'Omissus' Herring Gulls ~ Getlini, Latvia - 21 / 23 .11.14

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Larus argentatus 'omissus'
Marsh Gull

This Eastern Baltic race of argentatus breeds on marshes in Latvia / Estonia & W. Russia.

At Getlini Dump, Rumbula in Latvia there was quite a good percentage of omissus types .. 

The subspecies 'omissus' is Herring Gull with yellow legs, which is variable from pale tinged to bright yellow, resembling michahellis.

The orbital ring of 'omissus' is reddish, again similar to michahellis, where as in argentatus its yellowish ..

The grey mantle shade is slightly paler than argentatus with a Kodak Grey Scale 4.5 ~ 6 against michahellis Grey scale of 5~ 7.
In the field under overcast conditions the grey of the mantle seemed no different to birds with pink legs.

The wing-tip pattern of 'omissus' shows a large white tip to P10.
P9 mirror with the sub-terminal band either solid or broken across the web.
P5 is either un-marked or a thin band.

Most michahellis have a broad unbroken band to P5.

I'd be most interested to see 'omissus'
in breeding plumage, to note the intensity of leg & orbital ring colour.


Caspian Gulls ~ Getlini Dump, Latvia - 21/23.11.14

Friday, 28 November 2014

Arriving at Getlini Dump, Rumbula in Latvia around midday, signed in at reception and then straight to the main dumping area ...

21st .. Overnight snow, sleet all day
22nd .. Dull & overcast all day
23rd .. Mist & overcast all day

About an hour to find the first Casp in the 1000's of gulls, then 3 in quick succession didn't take any images as they were in the mass of birds, thinking i'd wait to get them isolated on there own !! 
Realising that getting birds out on there own wouldn't happen, and missing the first 3, it was time to take shots of every bird no matter what, something i find hard to do ...


Nice adult bird

Near solid large tip to P10 & long grey tongues  

2x 1st's ~ 1x 2nd ~ 1x 3rd ~ 1x ad
for the days total


Today we were joined by two birders Gaidis & Ugis for some of the day, who's local knowledge of Getlini and its gulls was very helpful ... Thx ..

Another adult

And here's a dodgy image of a 1st. W

3x 1st's ~ 1x 2nd ~ 1x ad
Totals for the day ..


I hope i've got the the id of these following two correct ... ???

This next bird is an absolute beauty !!

7x 1st's ~ 2x 2nd ~ 1x ad
Totals for the day

Can you spot the Caspian ?

Two video's, the quality isn't great but you get the feel of what the dump is like !!

Here's a 360 degree view of Getlini !!

The gulls love the compactor !!

3 amazing days at the dump, really looking forward to a return visit soon ... 

Getlini Dump, Rumbula, Latvia ~ Ring Recoveries - 21/23.11.14

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Spent 3 days at Getlini Rubbish Dump at Rumbula, near Riga in Latvia ...

The vast amount of gulls was absolutely amazing c.8,000 birds and thats probably under estimated ...

Finding ringed birds was hard work as there just was so few, only 6 !!!

On 21.11.14

Herring Gull ~ S433

Ringed on 14.07.12 by A. Kalvans 
at Zurku Sala, Riga, Latvia

On 22.11.14

Herring Gull ~ 7L1T

Ringed on 31.05.13 by G. Varnas
at Didzioji sala, Lithuania

On 22.11.14

Herring Gull ~ 8L9C

Ringed on 21.06.09 by Estonian Bird Ringing Center
at Parnumaa, Estonia

On 23.11.14

Herring Gull ~ CC60V

Ringed in 2011
at Kotka, Finland update info later ..

On 23.11.14

Caspian Gull ~ 3L20

Ringed on 24.06.14 by G. Varnas
at Didzioji sala, Lithuania

From a mixed colony Herr/Casp

On 23.11.14

Herring Gull ~ 3L4X

Ringed on 24.05.14 by G. Varnas
at Didzioji sala, Lithuania

So that was it for ringed birds but what a fantastic 3 days ...

Caspian Gull ~ 2nd. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 02.11.14

Sunday, 2 November 2014

With spells of heavy rain and a brisk southerly wind it was always going to be a afternoon at the puddles ..

It seems like ages since we had a Caspian, CB has been pulling them out daily at Shawell, MC had a adult in the week and today MB had a 1st & 3rd. W on the reserve ..
Conditions had increased gull no's with easily 1000+ birds spread out in multiple roosts visible from the boats, the wait was on, all afternoon and it was not looking like it was going to happen then all to briefly in came a 2nd. W bird, two fly-by's it kept  trying to land but it never did ..

1/250 ~ F5 ~ iso 800 = crap light

Caspian Gull ~ 2nd. W

Caspian Gull ~ 3rd. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 12.10.14

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

After being set-up at the puddles near the fishing boats at Dungeness for well over an hour the only bird of note to come in was a 1st.w. YLG ..
The gulls would come in to feed then some would return to the roost 200m's away at the wooden tower, the feeding frenzy kicks off and we'd drag the gulls back to the puddles only for them to go back to the roost ..
DW seemed to have something interesting in the roost so we went over, parking infront then a quick scan revealed this beast ...

Caspian Gull ~ 3rd. W

 1/60 ~ F4 ~ iso 640

Not once did this bird venture over to the puddles for a feed ..

Flight shots at 1/80 are set to fail !!

I would like another go at this bird in better light, so hopefully it will do the right thing and show up again at the weekend ...