Monday, 31 January 2011

Another Casper at Watermead CP South!! Maybe not!!!

2nd winter Caspian Gull Watermead CP South
Funny looking Herring Gull!
Back view of the Casper!
Herring Gull species!
Front view of the Casper!
Funny looking Herring Gull species!

With my new camera in toe I nipped down to Watermead CP South for a spot of digiscoping. Meeting up with John Hague in the car park, we checked out the pits for the long staying Pintail and maybe a singing Cetti's Warbler for the City list challenge. John couldn't stay long due to a previous engagement but we were out of luck for the time being with the Cetti's and Pintail no show!
Leaving John I walked round the southern edge of the park scanning the wildfowl and then on to the mammoth viewpoint.
Viewing from the mammoth I noticed a strange goose on the island which looked like a Pink-footed Goose?, but I needed a better view. So walking back towards the car park I scanned the island for the dodgy goose, when suddenly a gull looking very much like a Caspian Gull type landed next to the geese flock. As a confirmed gull lover I totally forgot about the goose and started grilling the Caspian type!
Taking a number of digishots and filming the bird with the new camera I was quite happy that I was looking at a 2nd Winter Caspian Gull!! GET IN!(possible only the third for the Soar Valley!!).
Then suddenly another couple of surprises as the drake Pintail then swam in front of me and "Rocky the Ruff" ran behind the Casper Gull on the island!!
Sometimes it amazes me that birds seem to pop up from nowhere, after you had grilled the site for a good half an hour before!?
With time against me due to work commitments in the afternoon, I let John and Mark Skevington know of the city sightings and as usual happy with the sightings I saw in the short period of time I had down the Soar Valley!

Post script: Researching the above photos of the Casper, I now feel that the bird is not a Caspian Gull but a funny looking Herring Gull type, and just shows that sometimes Gull ID is bloody hard!! Although it does show a large bill and dark eye and reasonable long legs, there just something not right about the bird!
Back to the drawing board for me then!?! 
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