Monday, 30 September 2013

Sylvia curruca blythi?

Just some pics of the bird that may by sylvia curruca blythi? Some discussion currently on going on Twitter...

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Past weeks birding...

The past weeks birding has predominantly been full of only twitching highlights, Teesside is currently dreadful, Lambton Pond is dreadful, the coast is dreadful, seawatching is dreadful, this just sin't the September I envisioned really!

Monday was an excellent day, I headed on down to Cheshire to catch up with the Leach's Petrels off Leasowe in Cheshire. This is a species that really had avoided my eyes up until Monday, I was fortunate enough to see around 8, of which myself and Zac Hinchcliffe jammed in on all. An excellent morning and was great to share the experience with Zac, a similarly aged birder I have known for around 5 years now. On the way back I called into Bishop Middleham and jammed in on the Pectoral Sandpiper someone had found, of course it wasn't there during the many hours or searching I put in over the past year. But that's birding!

 A Cheshire Lesser...

A Leach's I was actually able to photograph!

Nothing much happened until Friday when I finally had a good bird at Lambton Pond and also managed to see the American Golden Plover at St Mary's Island in Northumberland. The AGP showed well, the banter was excellent (as is always the case in Northumbs) and I rounded the day of nicely with a Pink-foot at Lambton Pond! In between this I ventured down to Teesside in what may have been the most quiet few hours on the Marshes I have ever experienced, exceedingly poor for the time of year. What is going on?!?!

Lambton Pond Pink.. 

 St Mary's Island American Golden Plover showed well..

Yesterday was spent dipping the Brown Shrike in Hampshire, but lets not dwell on that! A rather long trek later saw myself and team looking at 3 juvenile Blue-winged Teals. Which were "kind of" nice, certainly better than the worst bird I have ever seen to date, that being the eclipse drake of Saltholme RSPB back in 2011. As always a whole load of nonsense on BirdForum on various threads in regards to the origin of the Teals. Why is it so unusual for a presumed family part of Blue-winged Teals to reach Britain then end up on the east coast? I don't get the difficulty, its hardly as though they are the rarest set of wildfowl to reach our shores.

What Blue-winged Teals looks like..

2 of the 3 Blue-winged Teals, my camera could not fake taking a pic of the 3rd bird. 

Speaking of wildfowl...isn't it about time that they accepted that Baikal Teal from Flam? Not that I want to start a debate of course, not in my nature at all. Also some easterly winds are on the way, good news!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Snook & The Rather Great Snipe

The weekend begun with the checking of the waders at Seaton Snook, the tide wasn't really favourable and so not many wader at all. But I had some absolutely superb views of Dunlin and Ringed Plover, gave me a chance to try out my latest purchase; a Canon SX50 bridge camera, absolutely superb results for only £300.

First of all a slow approach...

Then some mega views and photo opportunities...

Only a single and rather solitary Ringed Plover, but sadly not a Semipalmated Plover!

Sunday saw a near enough to first light trip down to Spurn to see the Great Snipe. On arrival I was shocked to be told it was still present, a check of my phone also revealed that Oli Metcalf had already kindly alerted me to its remained presence 30 mins previously. The bird showed rather well, allowing for pics and video to be taken, I haven't had a chance to upload the video yet but that is something I'll get around to later on and will post it here on the blog. was rather showy. This photo wasn't that sharp which was frustrating, but I was more interested in watching and enjoying the bird. The next day I went to go look for Leach's Petrel on the Cheshire coast, more on that to follow.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Weeks Activities...

From now on please could all regular readers bear in mind that all the pics that appear on this blog are mine unless otherwise specified, just saves me having to add text all the time under each picture. Call me lazy if you want!

A busy weeks birding, Friday and Saturday were spent mainly in the Obs watching the passage. Personal highlights included Black Tern, Pomarine Skua, Velvet Scoter, Balearic Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwaters, and a juv Long-tailed Skua. It was also brilliant to watch the first Brents of the year passing the Obs.

Sauturday was superb, I managed to catch up with the trapped and ringed Common Rosefinch, I then headed on down to Teesside for the wader spectacle at Seaton Snook. I also called into see the Wryneck at at Headland, and also managed to connect with 3 Little Stints and several Curlew Sandpipers over both Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday saw me up in Northumberland mid afternoon to see the White-rumped Sandpiper again, it was pretty close this time and I had absolutely fantastic views of these stunning birds. I even managed some half decent pics, which can be seen below. A call into the Snook on the evening produced nothing but a single Curlew Sandpiper.

Lambton Pond remains generally quiet, I am also beginning to doubt I am going to get the hoped for Pectoral Sandpiper this year. But you really don't know, it may happen just yet.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Remainder of August...

After the TBC in Lancashire I had a bit of a gull week, with Caspian Gull in South Tyneside and the Bonaparte’s Gull in the same field just days later. This year I went to the BirdFair, I was mightily impressed with it this year and will no doubt go back down net year, if finance allows! The good thing about the BirdFair is I was able to connect with at least one of the juvenile Two-barred Crossbills at Broomhead Reservoir, I had what was almost certainly the male but it was a distant bins view only. A night time visit to Old Moor RSPB gave me views of my second Night Heron of the year, this made up for a particularly memorable BirdFair this year.

(Caspian Gull - copyright Andrew Kinghorn) 

The weather took a turn for the best and I was able to finally connect with a Booted Warbler, a flog of the Headland and a brief seawatch had yielded nothing that morning, so it was great to catch up with this bird. It showed surprisingly well, I’ve always liked Booted, Skyes’s and Eastern Olly. I managed to add Black Tern to my Durham year list, I was getting a little concerned about it! Then all the fun started, I had my first Greenish Warbler of the year in Marsden Quarry, then went onto Whitburn Coastal Park to see the juvenile Red-backed Shrike and then went onto find a Greenish (oops I mean Arctic Warbler), more on that later (perhaps). Not one of my finest moments in birding, just goes to show the danger of complacency! Later on in the afternoon I headed down to catch up with the Wryneck at Seaton Carew, a check of Lambton Pond didn’t reveal the hoped for yank wader sadly. I went to Whitburn every day last week and managed to see a second and third Greenish Warbler at Whitburn Coastal Park on the 28th, and a Barred Warbler the next day.

(Greenish Warbler - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

With September dawning it was time for yank waders, and I took young Harry over to see the Stilt Sandpiper in Cheshire. He got my sympathy vote…and I got to see it as well of course! The next day I was watching a White-rumped Sandpiper at East Chevington NWT, purely with the thought that it isn’t going to turn up on the estuary, but there is time yet. Finally yesterday evening was a dash down to Castle Lake DBC to connect with a fine eclipse drake Ring-necked Duck.

 (Stilt Sandpiper - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Stilt Sandpiper - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Ring-necked Duck - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

A brilliant August and fantastic start to September!

Monday, 12 August 2013

More Updates

Had a lot of different stuff going on in my life since my last proper blog post, so this post will be fairly cram packed but informative. As always I've been doing a lot of twitching, but only because there has been lots of fantastic birds I needed for the UK turning up.

An incredibly eventful month for me in terms of birds, I managed to see my first Thrush Nightingale and then on the next day my fist ever Lesser Grey Shrike. The rest of the month was generally packed full of superb Red-backed Shrikes, 2 Great White Egrets, and a spring Red-breasted Flycatcher. The latter bird being quite a surprise indeed.

(Thrush Nightingale - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Lesser Grey Shrike - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

This month kicked off with more stunning Red-backed Shrikes followed by a Pacific Swift in Suffolk. The slim and tapering wings of this scaly beauty were enough to make the species exciting and thrilling. Watching it dart backward and forward over the Suffolk marsh was incredibly exciting. Only days later saw me back down south to Notts to connect with the singing Melodious Warbler which generally showed well, hours later I was watching my first ever Rose-coloured Starling in Norfolk, on the way home I popped into a pond in North Yorkshire to look at an eclipse drake Ring-necked Duck. Not the most exciting bird I had ever seen I must confess. The end of June and a dream came true, I finally saw the greatest bird in the world; White-throated Needletail. Although the bird came to a very sorry end it performed well whilst alive for those of us who make the trek north and west to see it. The month ended for me with a drake Surf Scoter from Filey Brigg in North Yorkshire.

This month is usually either very exciting or very boring (in my personal experience), it was generally boring for birds apart from the fact that on the 1st I was watching a stunning adult Bridled Tern on the Farnes. I saw this bird three times, including once at Saltholme. In the middle of the month I had an afternoon dodge down to Rutland Water where I connected with a superb summer plumage Pacific Golden Plover. The month ended with a Pectoral Sandpiper at Saltholme followed by a Spotted Sandpiper the next day at Alnmouth in Northumberland. Spotted Sandpiper was a species I had always wanted to see in the summer time; thankfully this one was spotty enough to satisfy my keenness to see the species in a spotty condition.

(Bridled Tern - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Bridled Tern - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Pacific Golden Plover - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Pacific Golden Plover - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Spotted Sandpiper - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

So far August has been most kind; I started it off with a Spotted Crake in Northumberland one fine evening. The very next day I was watching a Night Heron in Leicestershire then thanks to a mate (who looks out for me all the time) I was alerted to the presence of a Two-barred Crossbill in Lancashire and so called in on the way home. The crossbill played ball and I had excellent views. On Friday gone I was fortunate enough to see the 2nd summer Caspian Gull (one of my favourite birds) and then the very next day I managed to re-find the Bonaparte’s Gull in the same field after it had left the steel. So all in all I would say I’ve had a pretty fantastic few birding months.

(Night Heron - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Night Heron - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Two-barred Crossbill - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Two-barred Crossbill - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Mediterranean Gulls and Update

Its been over 2 months since my last blog post, so much has happened bird wise since my last post. I will have to catch up on all the excitement in one fairly hefty blog post over the next few days. 

But until then here are some pics of Mediterranean Gulls from Newbiggin today, I was out with parents on the Farnes for the day, no I didn't see the Bridled Tern, but I have already seen it a few times (more on that later). So lets all enjoy these stunning birds...

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Dusky Thrush ramblings...

To quote Blackbeard of Pirates of the Caribbean: “There I were……..resting”. It was around 11ish on the evening of Friday and I was all ready to go to bed, as is typical of me it was time to refresh BirdGuides before I went to sleep. Imagine my shock when “Dusky Thrush”, “Kent”, and “Margate” appeared on the screen with the beloved and well known three “!!!” marks next to the sighting. Apparently it had been there 3 days, so it had already been messing around in the cemetery for a number of days. I went into panic mode and rang around a few mates to see if folks were interested; it wasn't long until I was on the road with some mates heading to Kent. We arrived just after dawn after some rather good craic about going to Fish and Chip shops at 6AM after dipping the bird. First of all there was no sign at all, it was very clearly a rather massive cemetery and thought of “its not going to be here is it” started to flash through my mind. However after about 30 minutes someone spotted the stunning bird and it flew around and landed on top of a tree for all to see. PHOARRR! What a bird! Any Sibe is good but a Sibe that is a Thrush is even better. The bird performed very well and some ace views were had of the bird during the morning we were there, we then went off for a right greasy fry up nearby to settle our clearly unsettled (don't ask) stomachs.

All well and end well yes? NO! There has been some disagreement regarding the birds identification on a well known birding forum. I must confess that at the start of the thread some very interesting questions and concerns were raised, I was interested, right up until Lars Svensson got back to an email sent to him to say that it was a Dusky Thrush and he had no quarrels with the ID. For me that was game over really, everything seemed to fall in range of Dusky Thrush of this age and one of the greatest bird ID gurus in the world was happy with it. Now I don't usually just take someone’s word as Gospel unless I have tremendous respect for the individual, only a few fall into this category (for me personally), however it was clear to me on this occasion that I should trust Lars Svensson given that he has forgotten more about birds in 5 minutes than I will probably ever know in my entire life. But I thought I would look at the bird myself more closely and take a look at some of the objections raised regarding the birds identification.

As far as I can understand the objections raised regarding the bird are as follows:
  • It’s a bit pale on the upperparts.
  • Its got some rufous tones on the lower flanks and breast sides.
  • I (the objector) didn’t see it.

I think we can really forget about the last one. So looking at the other two I decided I would do what I thought most people would do; turn to the literature. This is what I did.

The birds upperparts are no different to pictures of other Dusky Thrushes on the web, in fact I did find a picture of a male Dusky Thrush which had pretty much the exact same shade of brown on the back as the Margate individual. My literature quite categorically states that Dusky Thrush in first winter is “variable” (Birds of the Indian Subcontinent). Meanwhile in my book “Birds of East Asia” the first words on ID are “Extremely variable”, so there is generally no disagreement amongst the literature so far the Dusky Thrush is extremely variable, please note that in the book mentioned here that Naumann’s Thrush is treat as separate. Given that I can find photos of full blown male Dusky Thrushes with a similar upperparts colour would really lead to the conclusion this isn’t important. The book “Thrushes” by Clement and Hathway notes the following “intensity of brown to coppery-brown on upperparts variable but first-year female browner than same aged male or adult female”. So that settles that.

Now the other issue was the coppery or rufous markings on the breast sides and lower flanks. For some this is worry that this bird could have some Naumann’s Thrush in its genes from some point in time. This baffles me a little, the bird is otherwise perfect and it is clear from a quick Google search that Dusky Thrushes can and do show rufous in the breast sides and lower flanks. A careful look at the Manchester male from a few years would reveal the very same thing! Also others have noted that in some of their literature it is stated that birds can have brownish-black markings on the breast sides and flanks.

Finally from BirdForum;

Dear Steve,

This is a first-summer female Dusky. No sign of mix with Naumann's or
Black-throated. It is about the plainest and greyest immature female Dusky
one could find, still is OK for that and not atypical at all. Naumann's
has more rufous on upperparts, which would have shown, and more obvious
rufous on breast and flanks, too.

You are free to cite me would you so wish.

Kind regards,


….Svensson is happy? I am happy. The apparent lack of other Naumann’s features in the birds upper and underparts was something that I also mentioned in passing over the past few days. If this bird were an intergrade/hybrid (depending what guidelines you follow) then surely it would show more Naumann’s characteristics, which it clearly doesn’t. With Lars having given the bird the thumbs up my mind is settled. 

 (Dusky Thrush - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Dusky Thrush - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Dusky Thrush - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

Until next time, Foghorn out!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Catch Up

I've got a bit of catching up to do on my blog, been doing lots of birding, coupled with lots of university deadlines and that is why I have neglected my blog these past few week. On the 25th of April it was a mad dash down to Spurn to see the female Rock Thrush. We arrived late afternoon to discover the bird distantly going up and down the fence in a rather random field with a small pond in the middle, the bird was showing well and then the call came on the radio "Caspian Tern! Caspian Tern flying North over the seawatching hut now". Like a war film scene the 60 or so twitchers legged it to the nearby bank and we watched the superb bird as it flew leisurely north past the crowd.

If you listen carefully towards the end you can hear the news of the Caspian Tern coming through on the radio:
(Rock Thrush - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Rock Thrush - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

Other than that there was nothing much to write home about, however wader passage started up and a Pectoral Sandpiper at North Gare was quality for money and a Temminck's Stint the next day an obvious bonus. On Friday gone I finally caught up with Wood Sandpiper when I found one on Lambton Pond, much to my delight after having missed the birds at Teesside.

However bird of the Spring so far must surely go to the superb male Collared Flycatcher at Low Newton, many thanks to Gary as always for the speedy call allowing me to get up in plenty time to enjoy this rather stunning specimen! A brilliant bird to see before my rather stressful exam the next day (Thursday).

(Collared Flycatcher - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Collared Flycatcher - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Collared Flycatcher - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

I have now seen most of the common spring migrants, however some do still evade me and a couple of things I expect to see in the dales are still yet to be seen. Not be long now until the Nightjars are in, what truly brilliant birds they really are. Anyway I am beginning to waffle so we'll leave it there.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Iberian Chiffchaff conflict song?

More ramblings over this Iberian Chiffchaff at Boldon Flats NR, the one day wonder sang its heart out before never being seen again. On the evening it was heard to call and was noted as being quite unlike Willow Warbler and not like our "normal" Chiffchaff.

During the day the bird did produce on two occasions what sounded like a very Chiffchaff like "Chiff-chaff" song. This worried me, although the bird only did this 2 times in the 5 of so hours I spent with it I felt it warranted further investigation. 

Please watch the whole video below, but please take special note from 31 seconds to 41, the bird appears to think its some sort of DJ and is singing both Iberian and Chiffchaff notes. 

This concerned me at first, then I found recordings of Iberian Chiffchaffs from elsewhere which also do this, when speaking to Mr Garner about the bird on the phone it was suggested that perhaps what I was hearing was a conflict song. In essence what happens is that if the bird feels or thinks there is another Ibe in the area it will let out this conflict song. Listen to this song below from the Netherlands:

Here is exactly the same bird as above singing, though some may argue not quite as well as the Durham bird:

So my mind is put at ease. FEW!

Until next time, Foghorn out!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Iberian Chiffchaff - Boldon Flats NR

Wednesday started off as a typical day until I chanced upon and found a singing male Iberian Chiffchaff in South Tyneside, I was over the moon! A 1st for Durham, I had learnt the song over previous years with the hope that one day I may well bump into one, you just never know what is going to happen.

There will be more about this bird in the coming months in the DBC Lek and I believe BirdGuides are publishing a "finders keepers" article on this bird over the next few days. But for now here is a picture of the bird and a few sound recordings from myself and Mark Newsome. 

(Iberian Chiffchaff - copyright Mark Newsome)



Until next time, Foghorn out!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Iberian Chiffchaff


More on that later,


Sunday, 21 April 2013

Baikal Teal

Last Monday I went to Flamborough Head to see the Baikal Teal that had been found there mid-morning. When the news came through of the birds presence I was immediately excited, surely a fantastic candidate. On arrival the bird was out on the bank but then went down to the pond and proceeded to give excellent and enjoyable views. A superbly stunning duck, the plumage was more striking and handsome than I had imagined it was going to be.

But what about its credentials? Well, that’s an interesting one. Because I have seen it, of course it is wild! I have my reasons why I believe it to be wild, so enjoy my waffle:

1)     The bird has turned up on the east coast.
2)     The bird is fully winged, regardless of damage.
3)     The bird turned up during a visible and clear duck movement.
4)     Other vagrant ducks were on the move, consider Lesser Scaup. Even though they are from NA they were still moving along with other ducks.
5)     Damage is on both the primaries and the secondaries; it is not isolated to the primaries. Why would a keeper of such an attractive species clip the secondaries? Given that this is one of the most attractive aspects of the bird you wouldn't expect these feathers to be clipped.
6)     I am reliably informed that wings are clipped in late summer after a ducks moult. These feathers then do not regrow until the next moult.
7)     The damage therefore looks to me (personally) like it is more due damage from habitat or from a predator. I do not personally think this is down to the bird attempting to be shot at, which has been suggested on a well known birding discussion site.
8) The bird was seen to fly in off the sea with a good carrier species (Wigeon).

The fact the secondaries look damaged is the clincher to my mind that this bird cannot be written off as just a fence hopper, these feathers just would not logically be clipped. It would make more sense that this bird has received habitat or predatory damage to its primaries and secondaries. Given all the other strong points I imagine this bird will be moved onto category A soon.

(Baikal Teal - Andrew Kinghorn)

(Baikal Teal - Andrew Kinghorn)

Until next time, Foghorn out!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Saltholme Lesser Scaup

The Lesser Scaup at Saltholme is rather smart, I managed to see it on its first day on the cafe pool, it keeps moving about and I have also seen it from the 'triangle' pool at Haverton yesterday.

(Lesser Scaup - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

Until next time, Foghorn out!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Goodbye Caspian Gulls

As winter draws to a close over the next few days (bird wise, not weather!) it is time to say goodbye to the Caspian Gulls. See you next year friends!

(Caspian Gull standing proud! - Andrew Kinghorn)

Now for the official Caspian Gull song, based on changed lyrics from a well known and very corny 80's song:

Looking in your dark eyes I see a paradise
This world that I found is too good to be true.
Standing here beside you
Want so much to give you
This love in my heart that I'm feeling for you.

Let em say we're crazy
I don't care about that
Put your wing in my scope Casp
Don't ever look back.
Let the world around us just fall apart
Casp we can make it if we're heart to heart.

And we can build this count together
Standing strong forever
Nothing's gonna stop us now.
And if this world runs out of gullers
We'll still have each other.
Nothing's gonna stop us.
Nothing's gonna stop us now.

I'm so glad I found you
I'm not gonna lose you
Whatever it takes I will stay here with you.
Take it to the good times
See it through the bad times
Whatever it takes is what I'm gonna do.

Let them say we're crazy
What do they know?
Put your wings around me Caspo
Don't ever let go.
Let the world around us just fall apart
Casp we can make it if we're heart to heart.

And we can build this count together
Standing strong forever
Nothing's gonna stop us now.
And if this world runs out of gullers,
We'll still have each other.
Nothing's gonna stop us.
Nothing's gonna stop us ...

All that I need is you
all that I ever need.
And all that I want to do ...
Is watch you forever
Ever and ever!

And we can build this count together
Standing strong forever
Nothing's gonna stop us now.
And if this world runs out of gullers,
We'll still have each other.
Nothing's gonna stop us.
Nothing's gonna stop us.

Etc, etc….

Did you cringe but laugh a little inside? Good..mission accomplished!

Although they will be leaving this won't be my last post on Caspian Gulls for the season! Plenty more review to come.

Until next time, Foghorn out!

Busy, busy, busy!

Been very busy. Just been around the doors really, with Caspian Gull, Glaucous Gulls, and Mediterranean Gulls the highlights of the past few weeks. Hopefully I will get the time and enthusiasm to post more thoroughly over the next couple of weeks.

Check out this stunner!

(Mediterranean Gull - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

Until next time, Foghorn out!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

How many Caspian Gulls?

Well the winters gulling is drawing to a close, I do have a final post to do on it once they are gone but March can be a very good month. On Twitter I have recently been asked how myself and others are being so sure we are seeing different Caspian Gulls on Teesmouth, I think that is a very good and positive question. For which we have an answer, however in this post this is just the definitive separate birds I have seen.

I usually go gull watching on a Saturday and when not busy with university I go on a Friday most of the time, as a result most of my sightings are of birds over two consecutive days. Other times there is gaps of a week or more over sightings, this can be risky (for obvious reasons) and as such this post outlines definitive different individuals. I could also provide a very conservative estimate of how many I have seen, but I will wait till the end of this post and how I feel as to if I shall do this.

Bird 1
This bird was a non photographed 2nd winter on the 21st of November last year. Quite a distinctive individual and very white headed.

Bird 2
Easily the most impressive Caspian Gull I have ever seen, an almost dead cert male with its overall bulk being reminiscent of GBBGull. If I had seen this bird again over subsequent weeks I would have known about it, as such it was never seen again by myself. I saw this bird on the 23rd of November last year.

(1st winter Caspian Gull - Andrew Kinghorn)

Bird 3
Seen the same day as bird 2, another nice 1st winter and this one I presumed to be a female. Seen at the same time when the bird 1 was sitting, removing absolutely any doubt it was another bird. 

Bird 4
A very nicely marked Caspian Gull, my first of 2013 on the 5th of January!

(2nd winter Caspian Gull - Andrew Kinghorn)

(2nd winter Caspian Gull - Andrew Kinghorn)

(2nd winter Caspian Gull - Andrew Kinghorn)

Bird 5
This bird was not photographed, it was the same day as bird 4 and was at the Cowpen Bewley site rather than Seaton Common. This one is a credit as to why note taking is so useful and important in birding, from my notes in my notebook; "noted as being not quite as obvious as the previous Caspian Gull, so definitely a different bird."

Bird 6
The 12th of January is a memorable gulling day for me down on Teesmouth, I named it the '4 Casp say'. The day started with a 2nd winter (same as bird 4) and then not 1 but 2 adults! This adult is bird 6.

 (Adult Caspian Gull - Andrew Kinghorn)

(Adult Caspian Gull - Andrew Kinghorn)

Bird 7
After finding the above bird Dave Foster scanned some 15ft to the right and found another adult, both birds sitting in the same flock on the tip face. Very cool!

 (Adult Caspian Gull - Andrew Kinghorn)

(Adult Caspian Gull - Andrew Kinghorn)

Bird 8
This one is a very distinctive 1st winter, another one of those birds that I'd know for definite if I saw it again. See pic HERE.


(juvenile Glaucous Gull here with 2nd winter Caspian Gull - Andrew Kinghorn)

I think the bird from last weekend gone (2nd winter - above with Glaucous Gull) may have been a new individual but its quite hard to say for sure. All I can say with confidence is I have seen at least 8 separate Caspian Gulls so far this winter.

Until next time, Foghorn out!