Saturday, 14 February 2015

14th February 2015 Birling SSE 1 light rain 7.15-9.15am & Newhaven

Red-throated Diver 47E, 12W, 6 on sea
Great Crested Grebe 1E, 1 on sea
Gannet 56E, 1W
Fulmar 6E, 16W
Greylag Goose 2E
Brent Goose 45E
Scoter 1E
Kittiwake 6E, 3W
Common Gull 7
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2 in field
Auk sp. 2E

Harbour Porpoise 1

Newhaven Harbour
Caspian Gull 1 first-winter

After the huge beast from the east seen two weeks ago at the same site, by contrast, today's was a small individual of delicate proportions so presumably a female. Its small skeletal head appeared tiny at times and was 'bright white' and therefore proved eye-catching. The dark centres to its hump-backed grey mantle and upper scapulars gives a spotted appearance. Lower scapulars complete with intricate darker grey anchor-markings. Extensive dark centres to its tertials with white thumbnail tips. Long primpary projection. Black terminal band to its tail.
Two-toned bill rather delicate but long, slender and tapering. Small dark eye. Typical peculiarly shaped recoiled long neck of the species.
Lesser and median coverts bleached but narrow pale fringes still discernible. Greater coverts with broad dark bases but pale tips forming a wingbar. Rather delicate hindneck spotting.

First-winter Caspian Gull at Newhaven Harbour
White breast, pale undersides of primaries and superb white axillaries and underwing-coverts - they don't come any cleaner than these and are clearly being admired by the Herring Gull!