Sunday, 12 January 2014

Cuckmere West side (12 January 2014)

Megan and I walked from South Hill Barn down to Cuckmere Haven enjoying the classic view of the Seven Sisters, Birling Gap and Belle Tout Lighthouse.  I took my telescope in the hope of picking out the Spoonbill on the Scrape but no luck.  It was very muddy walking north up the river bank but a Kingfisher made it worth while.  Walking back down Vanguard Way I scanned the large (500+) gull flock and noticed an adult Caspian Gull amongst the mainly Greater Black-backs.  I got a few very poor images but by then Megan was halfway up to Harry's Bush and I thought I'd better not linger too long.  We enjoyed the Grey Phalarope at Hove Lagoon on the way home and I resisted taking any more photos of it - I'm still sorting yesterday's.  After lunch I cycled down to the Adur and Shoreham Fort seeing little.  There were a lot of gulls (c1000, mainly Herring and Black-headed) on the Adur on my return journey but I could find nothing amongst them before they were flushed off by a bait-digger.

sleeping adult Caspian Gull near Cuckmere Haven, its long thin legs are just about imaginable in this image.  Note also its white head and mantle a shade darker than the nearby Herring Gull's 
long legs require even more imagination in this image although the darkness of the mantle shows well
the only image I got showing its head up.  Note flat head, long thin washed out bill and with imagination forward placed dark eye.  Also bulging breast and long wings.
more enlarged version of previous image gives a slightly better impression of bill and long wings
I got a couple of shots like this
small dark eye evident in this one, unfortunately the Greater Black-back in front decided to stick its head up too
washed out bill tip just visible here, and again long wings
adult Caspian Gull north of Exceat Bridge on 22 December, unfortunately views of today's bird were not a patch on this one although pretty much all the same features were noted on it

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