Catching up with cachinnans

Tonight we were ‘third time lucky’ when we finally caught up with Caspian Gull, Larus cachinnans, at Cley NWT. An adult summer bird was found in the pre-roost gull flock, on Pat’s Pool at around 19.00. It was in the company of about fifty other large gulls, mostly Lesser black-backed but there were a few Herring and up to four Yellow-legged. Caspian Gull, a fairly recent split from Yellow-legged Gull, breeds in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and show up in Britain, mostly in the summer/early autumn. They can be quite difficult to separate from Yellow-legged but they have a peculiar ‘jizz’ – pulled out legs, neck and rear end, a wedge-shaped forehead, long parallel bill with small red spot, a mid-grey back lacking the bluish tinge of Yellow-legged and long white ‘tongues’ on the outer primaries – most have dark eyes.  A couple of digipic record shots:

The Caspian Gull is centre, back of the picture

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and again, centre, back – the bird is facing left

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One of a number of adult Yellow-legged Gulls present, providing useful comparison

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This entry was posted in Birding.

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