Sunday, 15 November 2015

Caspian on the Axe...

I wasn't suppose to be birding today but as chance would have it I managed to jam a couple of hours in before I was needed at home. I seized the opportunity and immediately jumped in the car and headed to Seaton to spend a brief hour checking the river. Yesterday Steve Waite had a superb find of two Caspian Gulls and a Yellow-legged there, so things were looking promising. That said it was only an hour after high tide this morning, never normally a good time to see anything much on the river and I didn't expect to see anything other than wigeon.

When I arrived I could see about 50 large gulls loafing on the river half way between Coronation Corner and the bridge. A thorough scan with the scope revealed nothing other than a few Common Gulls and handful of Lesser-black backed among the Herring flock. Then a first winter Med popped into view on the far bank with a dozen or so Black-headed gulls, better than nothing and more than expected!

I returned to the flock on the water and almost immediately hit upon a 1st winter Caspian Gull bathing among them (presumably the same bird as yesterday - haven't had time to compare pics with Steve's bird). What a cracking bird, all the usual features easily seen with great scope views. Bit overcast for decent photos but you can see it clearly enough.

Caspian Gull, Seaton: R. Harris
Caspian Gull, Seaton: R. Harris
Caspian Gull, Seaton: R. Harris
Caspian Gull, Seaton - check out the size
compared the Herring in the foreground: R. Harris

Again, showing how big it was compared to
the Herring Gull in front of it: R. Harris
Classic wing pattern for Casp: R. Harris
And underside for good measure: R. Harris

1st winter Med (centre behind BHG): R. Harris


  1. Hi Roger. Lovely series of photos there, love the wing flapping shots in particular. Well done and glad you saw it.
    Regards, Steve

  2. Cheers Steve - it's a lovely bird. Really didn't expect to see it, I was just taking advantage of a brief window of opportunity to grab an hour's birding. Luckily it spent it's entire time bathing so plenty of ops for open wing shots. Hope it hangs around for a while.