They were a good way out today, some maybe as far as half a mile, but in decent light through the excellent new Swarovski 25-50x zoom, they were largely viewable. After a while I picked up what was very likely a first-winter Caspian Gull walking through the flock, but just as I was about to get Steve onto it, the bird sat down and was largely obscured. He then found a Yellow-legged Gull which similarly went AWOL before I could get onto it. Dick Jeffrees joined us and we continued scanning until I eventually picked up another Caspian Gull, this time an adult, standing still and side-on in the flock - result.
While they watched the bird I dashed back to the car for my 500 mm lens - only to return and find it had moved on. We did pick it up again briefly before it flew off, but the microscopic record shots proved to be a wasted effort when I viewed them on a decent screen back at home. A shame, as unphotographed Caspians are lost to the record in London. After the others left, I estimated the gull numbers twice, and with a big arrival from the tip around noon, there were easily some 3,500-4,000 birds on Wennington and the Target Pools combined. Among the Herrings were numerous argentatus, and there were a few intermedius types amidst the Lesser Black-backeds too. Just a shame that viewing is so distant there.
Also this morning, a Common Buzzard appeared and settled briefly at the west end of Wennington, while back in Aveley Bay, Yellow-legged Gull took my personal larid species tally to seven for the day; a Black-tailed Godwit, four Ringed Plover and 120+ Dunlin were also on show. Something then came up at home which meant an early departure, but the probable Azorean Yellow-legged Gull seen again yesterday didn't show today, despite all the attention the gulls were getting. Maybe next time.