Saturday, January 24, 2015

Caspian Gull - Amwell

Trips to Amwell are always great.  The skies were clear, but the cold brisk breeze kept you honest.

Amazing light, and so many birds with the chance of a new addition to my BOU life list.  So this is what I saw.

CASPIAN GULL - 1st winter seen extremely well at dusk loafing about with numerous Great Black Backed Gull.  A really neat bird, fresh white head and neck with a dark black eye, and that bill, thick dark and slightly curved at the tip, a gonys I believe it's called.  Another feature observed was the greyish scapulars suggesting second-generational feathering on what the texts would regard as a transition from 1st calender year to 1st winter.  The bird was slightly smaller than the Greater's and appeared far more elegant, and dare I say, a much more interesting bird than the full adult.

During the day, a drake Smew finally appeared toward the London end of Great Hardmead and although distant, was seen well fishing along the edge of the reedbed.  A Kingfisher dashed across the lake and was seen several times thereafter.

Two Raven had earlier flown across the lake in a tustle, and a Water Rail nervously flew across in front of the Gladwin Hide.  At least three drake and five female Goldeneye were on the water as were well over a hundred Shoveler, 80+ Wigeon, and at dusk, an impressive cloud of Lapwing.  Such stunning birds seen against the final rays of golden sunlight.

A minimum of four Common Buzzard fought the breeze

Additional year ticks were Siskin, Jackdaw, Rook, and Reed Bunting.

I missed a Bittern, and later Peregrine, Barn Owl, and Woodcock, but it's what you see rather than what you don't.







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