Sunday, 6 August 2000

6th August 2000 Beachy 6.15am - 10.00am. Overcast but calm

Cormorant 1
Peregrine 1
Herring Gull c.30
Caspian Gull 1 1st Summer on beach below Cow Gap / Whitbread Hollow. Watched for around half an hour on rocks looking for food along tideline alongside Herring Gulls. Our attention was initially drawn due to very white-headed appearance. Proved to be strikingly white-headed with gleaming white crown and forehead. Head had single grey spot in middle of rear nape, otherwise head lacked markings. Neat black eye. Bill appeared all-black and relatively small, lacking any gonydeal angle. Bill appeared a natural extension to low sloping forehead. Head often held high with bird adopting upright posture. Dark spotting on lower hindneck. Some scapular feathers marked with black forming an irregular pattern. Some spotting on flanks. Entire coverts mottled brown with appearance of a large ‘faded area’ across median/greater coverts. Tertials with pale ‘fringes’ giving barred appearance. Primaries ‘bleached’ dark brown and lacked any pale tips. Appeared quite long-winged. In short flight, underwings pale although not strikingly white. Upperwing pattern not determined in short flight as concentrated on trying to determine underwing. Also not helped by bird in heavy wing-moult appearing to lack outer secondaries but difficult to ascertain as only flew a few meters on one occasion. Tail base and uppertail coverts / rump white with some spotting. Good black subterminal tail-band. Pink legs. Slightly smaller than accompanying Herring Gulls of varying ages. Bird often looking for food by peering at the bases of green-covered rocks. Completely lacked dark head markings (often prevalent below eye) on 1st Summer LBBG. Lacked noticeable streaking on rear crown/dark area below eye being a typical feature of 1st Summer YLG. Structure of head being skeletal also very pro-Caspian. Initial concerns over tertials (not completely black centered with pale fringe) less of a concern on seeing similar pattern of tertials exhibited by 1st Summer Blyth estuary bird photographed in August 2000.
Great Black-backed Gull 1 juv.
Green Woodpecker c.3
Pied Wagtail 1
Whinchat 1
Wheatear 1
Sedge Warbler 1
Whitethroat c.12
Garden Warbler 2
Willow Warbler c.20