Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Local birding: 1stw Caspian Gull and possibly an ad Yellow-legged Gull, Fishmoor Reservoir & Whinney Hill Tip, Lancs - 30th Dec 2008.

A first light assault at Fishmoor before the Gulls began to disperse was rewarded with both the 1stw Caspian Gull briefly on the water and an adult Yellow-legged Gull for ten minutes.

From the outset, the latter bird looked good in terms of upperpart colouration and structure with a good head and bill shape, appearing full bodied and long-legged when flapping, and long winged at rest. The upperpart colouration was spot-on with a strong, white trailing edge to wings, extent and pattern of black in primaries looked good with small primary spots on folded wing, single white mirror visible in p10 on raised wing, complete dark band on p5 is visible in a videograb and good contrast between darker under-secondaries and whiter underwing coverts all point to this species. The head appeared to be clean white. Leg colour was certainly not obviously pure yellow, but probably dull pink/yellow.

Above: Adult Yellow-legged Gull, Fishmoor Res, Lancs - 30th Dec 2008.

The 1stw Caspian Gull (above) was located distantly at Whinney Hill Tip early afternoon.

After the excellent and prolonged show in good light put on by the Caspian Gull to several observers the previous evening, this evenings Gull roost at Fishmoor was a spectacular disappointment, with encroaching murk steadily getting worse from 15:00. A lot of the Gulls appeared fidgety, many not spending long on the water which did not help matters and plenty of Gulls were still coming in as the light became to poor to continue. Despite c25 observers looking from various positions around the site, nothing of note or interest was seen to the best of my knowledge.