Since the end of the November my attention has been centred on local Gulls. The inner harbour nearest my house has been good and Ive seen 2 different 1st Winter Caspian Gulls there since Christmas (one of which found by GS) Shakespeare beach to the West of the port has been very productive and Ive come across 7 different Caspian gulls there in the past week or so, aswell as a handful of Yellow-Legged Gulls and many Argentatus Herrings. I should also mention that I’ve seen5 or 6 different Casps moving along the cliffs between Langdon and South Foreland however photo opportunities are not so good as its really a 10 second look at each, like the below 2nd winter, one of three all flying East on the 17th December.
Below are some recent photos, taken at Shakey Beach where the birds come in to bread. A different bird is denoted by the use of ‘ ///// ‘
///// An elegant long winged bird seen on 30/12/21
///// A small presumed female with nice deep tail band seen on the 02/01/22
///// A large scruffy male also seen on the 31/12/21
///// A darker bird with a lovely white underwing and beautifully delicate scapular pattern.
///// A stunningly white 2nd Winter. 02/01/22
/////A Large, long necked and noisy male. 03/01/22
////An adult bird from the 28/12/21 showing no Black band on p5 suggesting some Herring influence perhaps although the rest of the Primary pattern seems good with a decent pattern to the underside of p10 and long grey tongues throughout.
///// A first winter from the inner harbour near the house on the 29/12/21 great caspo skeletal expression, quite a small and dark bird.
My appetite for Caspian Gulls during winter remains unsatisfiable! However some other species of interest have been noted: several Yellow Legged Gulls like the below 1st winter and adult (seen alongside an adult Argentatus) were from the inner harbour and shakey beach in the past week.
Also I’d like to make a point about how many Argentatus Herring Gulls I see here. Its alot more than I noticed in London, perhaps a coastal thing but Im recording numerous birds of all ages each session. Below is a striking pale Northern Argie and a smart 4th winter.
Theres probably going to be more Gulls on this blog before spring although I did check the valley briefly today and had Coal tit, 2 Firecrests and 3 Chiffies before quickly twitching the Bockhill Humes warbler, my first trip to Bockhill! not sure If I like knowing whats round the corner so have been putting off visiting since moving here.