Saturday, 26 February 2011

Kent and Thanet tick at Pegwell Bay

Caspian Gull 1st winter.

I spent 3 hours at Pegwell Bay this morning scanning through a massive roost of gulls , hundreds in fact and my target birds were Caspian and Yellow legged gulls , constant rain showers and the distance of the gulls made the viewing fairly challenging , i always get a buzz from scanning through gull roosts because you never know what you might come across , it was nice to sit in the dry and comfort of the hide , my first scan through was long and laborious but a probable adult Yellow-legged gull was seen , however although it looked darker on the back , somewhere between Herring and Lesser black-backed.  the head shape was slightly wrong and at that range the leg colour could not be confirmed  .

                                         Another poor record shot of 1st winter Caspian gull.

On my second scan through i came across a superb 1 st winter Caspian Gull , high breasted , very white  pear shaped head , it had the classic small dark eye although at that range the colouration would not have shown , all black bill , very long legged , white tipped brownish tertials and black primaries were all easily seen , it also had the dropped lower rear belly , the photos really are bad i know and they just don't do the bird any justice at all , at one point it stretched its left leg and the length was quite amazing , you can just about make the very long legs out in the second photo , it spent most of the time preening .

Mixed gulls and waders going out with the tide.

Several species of wader were seen also today including , approx 75 Bar Tailed Godwits , Grey Plover, Dunlin , Redshank , Curlew and Oystercatcher , also a Sparrowhawk did a rather quick fly through .


So all in all a very rewarding 3 hours spent doing some local birding ( for a change )