Saturday, 29 December 2012

First white-winger of the season

At the end of the wettest year on record in the UK, the weather so far this winter has continued the trend, being generally vile with plenty of rain and wind. Yesterday brought both in fair quantity to my Rainham patch, which is looking more waterlogged than I have ever seen it before in 25 years or so - some of the reserve trails are so submerged in water that fish have apparently been seen swimming across the paths!

Second-calendar-year Caspian Gull at Rainham - a beautiful and textbook specimen.
Seen more than four hours previously but only as it took off, this may or may not be the same Caspian as above.
I was off piste today looking at the gulls in the south-west corner of the area, near the stone barges - a good move, as it turned out. The stars of the show which included eight gull species were a first-calendar-year Iceland Gull - seemingly the first 'white-winger' of the winter in London - plus four Caspian Gulls (an adult, a third-calendar-year and two second-calendar-years) and 15 Yellow-legged Gulls (of all ages, and including a colour-ringed third-calendar-year which was not marked locally). I'll have more images to share as soon as I get time to upload them, but in the meantime enjoy these clips of the Iceland Gull (above) and one of the Caspians (below - the first second-calendar-year of this species that I've been able to film).

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