Caspian Gull ~1st. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 01.11.15

Thursday, 5 November 2015

The weekend afternoon sessions fell over the high tides which normally means most gulls have next to nowhere to stand and move away from the beach area to the main roost near the wooden tower, holding them on the beach can be difficult, if they are flushed by the public they move to the roost.
Both days the beach held on to reasonable sized flocks despite great efforts from dimwits, dog walkers and swimmers but it wasn't until late on Sunday just as a fog bank came in that Andy L called a Caspian in coming ...

   Bold streaks to the neck, dark masking around the eye and the scapulars markings are mainly small diamond shapes which are normally more anchor like. 

Overall the birds plumage is slightly darker than the norm, due to the neck streaks, the mantle and upper scapulars with the dense small diamonds, big tail band with bold barring and upper tail covert markings all combined make for a great looking bird.
Darker individuals have less distinctive paler inner webs or (venetian blinds) to the inner primaries.

From below the bird has a slightly darker belly and flanks.
With some odd dark markings, but a fairly clean panel from the greater coverts.

Compared to the usual early November Caspians that turn up in the U.K. this one is on darker side, searching images on the net for dark type birds with some from Romania looking similar  ..
But could there be some michahellis influence as the mantle pattern just seems weird for caspian ? 


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