Saturday, 26 December 2015

Caspian Gull in the Cuckmere

Saturday 26th December.  Halfway decent weather and Frank Lambert being in Brighton was all the excuse I needed to venture further than the Adur.  We started at Newhaven here we counted 16 Purple Sandpipers sheltering on the east pier.  We continued to the Cuckmere, approaching from Seaford Head Barn we could see a flock of gulls opposite Harry's Bush we approached and started scanning and hadn't been trough them all when Matt Eade phoned to say he was watching a first-winter Caspian in the flock from the footpath to the north.  He gave us directions but I either misinterpreted them, overlooked it or was unsighted and could only find an adult Yellow-legged gull. A few minutes later a group of gulls flew and it did a bunk.  Matt joined us and later Gordon Beck and Tony Cook. Frank and I were about to leave as I had a family commitment when Gordon picked out a third-winter as it joined the flock.  Good to see old friends and not a bad morning's birding to boot.
Caspian Gull in the Cuckmere
a third-winter bird
quite distinctive head even when it was all that was visible


starting to emerge from behind the Greater black-backs


small dark eye,small pear-shaped head, long thin bill and annaconda swallowing a capybara neck all evident in this image


Thanks Gordon
Yellow-legged Gull in the Cuckmere
Purple Sandpiper at Newhaven, nice covert edgings on this one, a juvenile?
another with much duller covert fringes, a worn adult?
Frank noticed that this one only had one leg
Friday 25th.  Sparrowhawk over Broadwater on a Christmas afternoon walk

Thursday 24th.  Six Purple Sandpipiers at Shoreham Harbour at high tide.  Herring Gull J0LT approaching low tide.
very high tide/big sea at Shoreham Harbour


full moon from the Adur





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