Lesser Black-Backed Gull ~ K.PAC ~ Jolly Farmers, Crayford, Kent - 25.09.13

Friday 27 September 2013

Roosting on the waste ground along side "The Jolly Farmers" Pub on the old Dussek Campbell site was this returning bird


Lesser Black-Backed Gull ~ Ad. W

Ringed as a juvenile on the 14.07.2008

at Foot Sea Dunes, Kelderhuispolder, Texel

By C.J. Camphuysen

29.10.10 ~ A Coruna, Spain ~ A. Gutierrez
02.05.11 ~ Dartford, England ~ A. Lawson
16.07.11 ~ Crayford, England ~ A. Lawson
21.04.13 ~ Texel, Netherlands ~ C.J. Camphutsen
25.09.13 ~ Crayford, England ~ M. Southcott

Yellow-legged Gull ~ 3rd. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 22.09.13

Over the past few weekends the gull numbers have been falling with now just a mass of 200+ gathering on the beach.
We were joined by SH, DM & DW but unfortunately nothing came in until late on, when the Ad. yellow-legged made a brief appearance and another bird with virtually a full grey saddle when at rest, sporting a black bill & no mirrors ...

Extensive black to bill
Streaking to head, mainly eye & ear coverts
Lower 2nd. gen dark tertials
Tail with faint band

Outer most primary still growing
Secondaries still growing mainly inner
Some greater coverts, secondaries & alula with brown markings

I'm still confused about feather growth 3rd W birds should moult P10 with a mirror, so there is a really faint one will this gradually turn white as the feather grows or would it grow all the way with a mirror ?

Hopefully will get another chance with this bird and see how P10 grows ... 

Larus Argentatus ~ scarce atypical tail pattern ~ 1st. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 21.09.13

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Larus Argentatus
Scandinavian Herring Gull

This particular 1st. Winter individual shows a scarce atypical tail pattern

White band through the normal broad tail band

A pale looking bird, contrasting with the dark alula, outer greater coverts, outer primaries, secondaries, tertials and tail band 

* Note the very faint pale band running through all secondaries even the primaries ...

* DM suggests its a possible dietary deficiency or other trauma during feather growth which could affect the pigment resulting in the tail band.

Maybe from previous generations past, there was mixed parentage ie: hyperboreus or marinus that possibly bred with argentatus which could throw off genetically these tail patterns

There's a  few images of this trait to be found on the web but it seems either little is known or just a lack of info, as yet i've only seen images of this tail pattern on argentatus or putative birds but not on argenteus.

Caspian Gull ~ 1st. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 21.09.13

Monday 23 September 2013

Low tide and a walk out on the sand, only a few bait diggers which in-turn meant really low numbers of gull's, they were flighty and not confiding always keeping there distance. When you tried to move closer they just moved further away.
A white headed bird caught my eye and got Richard on it, no sooner had we found it, when it took flight up over the shingle ridge not to be seen again all weekend ...

Record shots were taken ...

Caspian Gull ~ 1st. W

Small white pear-shaped head with sloping forehead.
Black bill gradual curve to tip, without distinct gonial angle.
Long legs with lengthy tibia. 
Tertials brown with white edges, tips irregular broad white ends.
Greater coverts white edged, pale tipped with inner barred to dark outer.
Rear scapulars still 1st. gen with 2nd. gen upper replaced, grey with dark base markings, shaft streaks in to anchor pattern.

Broad dark even tail band, finely barred off the band, with white upper tail to rump.
Solid dark outer primaries fading to inner.
Inner primaries dark on outer web, pale on inner giving the 'venetian blind'
Worn greater coverts with paler tips against darker secondaries & median creating wingbar.
Saddle grey contrasting with wings and 1st gen tertials.

Body and head mainly white with dark markings making a necklace.
Underwing largely white, with fine darker marking on leading edge to lesser coverts.
Faint barring to axillaries.

Shame it didn't return for some better images.
Our third Caspian of the '13/'14 season so far.

Caspian Gull ~ 2nd. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 15.09.13

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Today we had a guest, Andy Lawson for a day at Dungeness.
Wind was to increase to 28 s.w by late afternoon for a seawatch but first "the patch" and Gorse of note: Black Tern, Whinchat and Merlin.
Late morning a call with news of a Ortolan Bunting which for me gave poor views but once the twitching thing was done it was back to business
 Refuel in the Cafe

Then it was out near the fishing boats for whats becoming the norm ...
Gull's, gull's & more gull's ..

No sign of any YLG's today but ringed birds and a small long winged LBB kept us amused until Andy shouted "Caspian" ... I couldn't see it, Panic !! ... "It's on the water-line" ... Panic .. Panic !! ... Still can't see it ... "Brilliant white head" ... Can't find it !! .. Panic !! ffs .. Finally i'm on it, don't know how I couldn't see it as once on the bird it stood out a mile ...

What a cracker, a 1st. summer moulting into 2nd. winter. The light was poor at iso 800 and F4 the best was 1/800 and it was raining !!

Caspian Gull ~ into 2nd. W

White head, with long parallel sided bill.
Finely patterned greater coverts.
Dark tertials with irregular white edges & tips.
Mantle and scapulars being replaced with grey.
Black looking primaries.

P10 growing with small mirror.
Pale inner primaries against dark outer.

Under-wing mostly white.

What a great bird to end the weekend.

Great Black-Backed Gull ~ JP281 ~ Dungeness, Kent - 16.09.13

Monday 16 September 2013

On the beach at Dungeness, Kent near the fishing boats was this 3rd. W bird.


Ringed as a pullus on 07.07.2011
Odd, Mandal, Vest-Agder, Norway

Great Black-Backed Gull ~ 3rd. W

Great Black-Backed Gull ~ M64 ~ Dungeness, Kent - 15.09.13

On the beach at Dungeness, Kent near the fishing boats was this Juv/1st. W bird ..


Ringed as a Pullus on 06.07.2013
Iles Saint-Marcouf, Manche, Normandie, France.

Great Black-Backed Gull ~ 1st. W

Great Black-Backed Gull ~ JE680 ~ Dungeness, Kent - 08.09.13

Friday 13 September 2013

On the beach near the fishing boats feeding with the mixed gulls was this 4cy Great Black-backed Gull.


Ringed as a pullus on 30.06.2010 at
Landekilen, Mandal, Vest-agder, Norway.

Great Black-backed Gull

The Long Call ....
First bowing of the head

The head is raised calling till this upright posture ..

Larus Argentatus ~ Northern Herring Gull ~ Dungeness, Kent - 08.09.13

Thursday 12 September 2013

Larus argentatus is from Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Finland, Baltic Sea and Germany which is generally larger and heavier than it's subspecies argenteus of  Western Europe and Great Britain.
Variation in plumage from light to dark birds, then add the intergrades where subspecies overlap making identification impossible ..

The following three birds to my in-experienced eyes are good candidates for argentatus, all being more distinctive in flight with the paler coverts & mantle contrasting against the darker secondaries. Pale window in primaries with the outer web showing pale cigar shapes. The tail band is dark brown with pale edges, barring & spotting on upper-tail and rump against a white base colour.
Pale head, darker masking around eye and a stout bill.
Reduced pale barring on outer greater coverts.
Underwing coverts dark against the paler flight feathers.
Tertials variably oak leafed with dark centers.

 To me they look good for argentatus, maybe i'm wrong if so contact me .. 

Bird # 1


Bird # 2

Bird # 3

Three very distinct birds compared to the normal brown look that dominates most of the Herring Gulls .. 

Yellow-legged Gull's ~ 1st. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 01.09.13

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Three different 1st. winter birds this week at Dungeness, Kent near the fishing boats ...
All in advanced moult, replaced scapulars with well defined anchor base's ..

Yellow-legged Gull # 1

Big, stout looking bill all black .. Dark mask around the eye .. Some scapulars replaced with defined anchor markings to base ..  Solid dark tertials with pale egdes and one replaced ? ..

Solid tail band tapering to outer edge against a white upper tail, very noticable in flight ..

Dark under-wing and axillaries with dark barring ..

Tail pattern shows well here same as the scapulars and dark trailing edge to the wing ..

Yellow-legged Gull # 2

Big, stout looking bill all black .. Dark mask around the eye .. Some scapulars replaced with defined anchor markings to base .. 

Dark under-wing with coverts being replaced showing paler areas

Yellow-legged Gull # 3

This bird really had me and im still not convinced being a novice, its appearance is quite cachinnans like but feel certain features are more ylg.

This bird has a paler appearance, long legged but not lanky ..
High chest and dropped ventral bulge ..
Longer billed and less gonial angle ..
Which gives it a cachinnans look ..
Surely greater covert marking rule out cach .. 

Solid and even tail band with bars against white upper tail ..
Pale inner web to inner primaries but not distinctive ..


Tail band is most distinctive in flight .. 

Snouty long billed look and ventral bulge cach like ..

Pale under-wing but axillaries still darkly bar ..

Again another great catch of gull's but not a cach !!

Unless im wrong ?

Little Gull ~ Ad. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 01.09.13

Tuesday 3 September 2013

From the fishing boats at Dungeness, Kent were several Little Gull but one came close enough in the poor light, which turned out to be a returning bird from last year nearly to the day !!

Little Gull ~ Ad. W

The same bird from last year as a 2nd. W taken on 02.09.12

It's a shame that this juvenile didn't come in close enough as its markings are superb ...