Among large numbers of Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were at least a dozen Yellow-leggeds.
With disappointingly late news of a Spotted Redshank emerging from Rainham (seen Saturday but no word until too late yesterday afternoon), I was back on the Thames this morning at low tide. After yesterday's adult Yellow-legged Gull I expected a few more on the river today, especially with the tip in action, but at least 12 of all age classes except juvenile was the highest count I've had for a long time. One even sported a red colour ring on its left leg (code not clearly visible).
A Med Gull searches in vain for water at the Target 'Pools'.
A trudge around the reserve in a fingertip-style search of every remaining visible patch of water failed to produce the AWOL Spot Red, which by now was probably resting its long legs somewhere like Sheppey. Fourteen Little Egrets (including two juveniles) on Aveley Pools was the highlight until a cracking adult summer Mediterranean Gull flew over the Target Prairie (no water there, just cattle and grass). Almost as good on the return walk was my first returning adult Common Gull - autumn is definitely here, at least for gulls.
Caspian Gull: rare find for midsummer.
As if to prove the point, a phone call from Andy Tweed as I was about to leave the reserve centre took me straight back to Aveley Bay, where he had found a Caspian Gull - it was still on show when I arrived, making 28 June a notable eight-gull day.