Wednesday, 15 August 2012


14th August - my first visit for about a week was in the early afternoon.  Not much seemed to have changed - a Common Sand was the only wader present and there was a sprinkling of returning wildfowl with Shoveler, Teal and a couple of Pochard - one of these a juvenile bird.

As ever, with little else to look at, I started to scan the gulls.  The birds on the near spit being mainly BHG and the LWHG flock on the back of the spit much further away.  An adult YLG was the best I could find in the LWHG flock, whilst the BHG flock contained white-ringed T64H again, which is the bird seen on 1st August and was ringed as a chick at Przykona Reservoir, Radyczyny, Turek, Poland on 10th June 2008.  This is about 100 miles west of Warsaw and has also been seen in Germany in June 2009.

Dave C had joined me by this stage and we continued to scan the spit.  I then noticed quite a striking LWHG, which looked good for Caspian Gull that had arrived mid spit.  Announcing this to Dave, it promptly flew to the back of the spit and started swimming around.  It looked like a fairly obvious 2cy bird in quite heavy moult and was missing some primaries, so lacked the usual long-winged look.  I took a few record shots before it flew slightly closer in front of the island and then fortunately it flew again and landed on the near spit.  It was quite mobile here and walked around quite a bit before settling to preen.  My record shots of it always managed to have the head obscured, but I have borrowed one of Dave's that shows a nice profile.

Initial far off record with Herring Gull

Dave C's profile shot
There has apparently been a moulting 1st summer Caspian Gull at nearby(ish) Queen Mother Reservoir, Berks for a few weeks, so it is very likely that this is the same bird as gulls are known to visit both sites.

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