Yellow-Legged Gull ~ 2nd. W ~ Dungeness, Kent - 28.09.14

Tuesday 30 September 2014

South-east around to East-south east winds of 8mph.
Some reasonable light at times just not when the birds were performing ..

A total of 3 Yellow-legged gulls late in on Sunday evening ...
1 x ... Adult winter 
2 x ... 2nd. winter

2nd. W ~ bird 

Compare it to this LBBG below ..

Caspian Gull ~ 1st. W ~ XDFE ~ Dungeness, Kent - 20.09.14

Tuesday 23 September 2014

North-easterlies and low tide are not a great combination, the birds are always flying away from you into the wind, which makes photography rather difficult, then as soon as the sand is exposed at low tide that is where the gulls head for, but we do manage to hold on to some on the beach ...
It was just Me & Chiddy to start with, and getting the gulls down & settled, was harder than normal, eventually they did, and started increasing in number ..

" I've got a green-ringed Caspian "

This got Chiddy running back up the beach ...
We got a couple of fly-by's out of  the bird and gained the ring No: with images in reasonable light ...

Soon we were join by Plodder who confirmed the ring No: XDFE ... And with that the bird flew to the furthest point down the beach and settled down !!
DW came over to see it, a brief glimpse and the bird vanished for over an hour ..

MC & DW left for home, it wasn't long before we had the bird back again ...


Initially I had concerns over wing length which seems short & broad in some images, and the same go's for the venetians which are not very distinctive, but after some research, I was stressing over nothing ...


The light faded towards the latter part with the bird, We were joined by four birders one of them was Henry Wyn-Jones who all had views, before it disappeared again ...
With the skies darkening, Me & Chiddy left them to it, unfortunately they didn't get the bird back in ...

The bird was ringed near Lausitz in East Germany near the Polish border ..

Here is the bird with a similar for comparison from Sweden ..

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 birds but there were so many more we missed at the two prime sites of Simrishamn & Skillinge ...

Here's a less advanced 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 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 . Caspians ...
And at Skillinge .. 3+ . 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 ..

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 ..