Rich and I gave the Thames a go first thing and had pretty much Zilch so burnt rubber to Dunge and found this ringed first winter Caspian Gull.
It was ringed last June at Grabendorfer See , Germany near the Polish Border, the same day and same colony as two other Casps I have seen this winter at Thames Barrier Park.(x307) and (x090) . We were joined by Mick Southcott who confirmed it was a new bird.
The Same 2nd Winter Yellow Leg that Laurence ad I saw last Saturday was lurking about. (also pictured with the casp above)
This Adult Kittiwake also came in to check out Mick’s fish bucket.
A weekend Trip down to see friend Laurence P began with a full day at Dungeness. Things were fairly slow to begin with but we did see the 2 Juv Iceland Gulls and a couple of first winter Caspian gulls by the patch. The tide was out and there were very few gulls by the puddles and fishing boats so we took in a/the Long eared Owl and Ring necked duck (for the 2nd or 3rd time recently) on the reserve. This and a hearty veggie breakfast at the cafe killed some time before returning to look at the Gulls. The below 2nd winter Yellow-Legged Gull was nice, I like them this late in the season, beginning to brighten up in the bill and iris also.
I basically wasted pretty much all the bread trying to keep a group of gulls close with nothing of interest, however as the last fishing boat came in (followed by loads of gulls and thick fog!) This absolutely bonkers 1st winter Caspian flew infront of us.
Originally seen 5 days before by Paul Watts and ringed in Poland last may.
As the fog thickened this dark 1st winter Casp also flew about abit but never posed in the same fashion.
A nice adult Kittiwake flew by close in
This dark eyed ad Yellow Legged Gull was present too but flew off before any closer inspection.
The Next day was spent birding a few sites closer to Eastbourne. Prince’s park held a Black head ringed in Denmark that we’d seen there back in July whilst photographing some of the first Juv Yellow legs in the country and a NTGG 1st winter herring. Holywell held zero gulls, but this rock pipit posed with 90’s blurring Gerhard Richter painting as backdrop!
Then on to Cuckmere Haven. Which holds one or two large and often distant gull day roosts, great scope views and a nice way to see many birds from one spot, we had 4 Med gulls of all all 3 ages, 5 First winter and a one third winter Caspian gulls. Photos were pretty shocking from this distance here’s 4 of the 6. The third winter was the bird of the trip for me