Monday, 4 February 2013

Gull ID event at Rainham: book now!

Learn to meet the ID challenges posed by tricky larids such as this second-winter Caspian Gull, present last month on the landfill at Rainham Marshes.
For those who enjoy it gull identification can be one of the most rewarding aspects of birding, but others can  find it daunting trying to decipher all the confusing and detailed ageing and ID criteria, especially for the larger species. London is one of the best locations in the country to get to grips with such challenges as Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls alongside the more familiar Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, so what better opportunity to sort out these species than this forthcoming special gull ID event.

For two days on 21-22 February 2013, gull guru Klaus Malling Olsen - acclaimed author of the larid bible Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America - will be coming to my local patch at Rainham Marshes RSPB to offer expert advice in the field and the lecture room. Together we'll be conducting sessions on the famous landfill site next to the reserve, where Caspian Gull is often present alongside Yellow-legged Gull, and where rarities in recent years have included Britain's first Slaty-backed Gull and Kumlien's Gull.

Access to the landfill site, normally restricted, is being made available by Veolia exclusively to participants in the two-day event, so we should be able to get closer to the birds, which are often present in their thousands. Participants in the event will enjoy a two-hour field session and then a one-and-a-half-hour presentation by Klaus, with refreshments, in the reserve's well-appointed visitor centre. It will also be possible to purchase signed copies of Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America from the reserve shop. As there are only limited spaces available, however, participants are advised to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

The price is just £45 - to pre-book, please ring the RSPB on 01708 899850. Hope to see you there!

* For more details of the programme, see the RSPB reserve's website. Note that all participants must wear hi-vis vests and hard hats at all times when on the landfill site (rental of these items is included in the price). They must also wear sturdy wellington boots (not included). A brief health and safety instruction session will be conducted before the visit to the landfill site.


  1. I'll immediately subscribe your rss feed as I can’t to find your email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me know so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for your interest - you should be able to have posts directed to your Inbox once you become a follower of the blog (there is no e-newsletter service).



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