Friday, 30 July 2010

Band of brothers

I thought this was an interesting photo. At the back is the adult Caspian Gull from the other night, in the middle an adult Yellow-legged Gull, and at the back an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.

All have red (or almost red) orbital rings, with the Yellow-leg having the largest eye of the three, and the Caspian the darkest.

The bills range from very bright in the Yellow-leg to fairly dull in the Lesser Black-back, with the Caspian in the middle.

P10 is also visible on all three, with the Caspian's being the longest and whitest tipped, the Lesser Black-back being in the middle, and the Yellow-legged having the smallest amount of white.


Thursday, 29 July 2010

'cachinn' a caspo

Two Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans amongst a nice late-summer party of loafing gulls in Beds yesterday. We don't see many of these things in summer, so they are always an education. Interestingly, the most common age we find during July and August is second-summer>third-winter (just like the bottom bird above).

Both birds are moulting their primaries quite heavily, which is a nice pointer towards Caspo this time of year.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


I've been trapping plenty of moths this summer. They're not something I ever thought I'd get in to, but its fairly addictive. It's ok though, they won't take over from birds...

This is a Small Ranunculus Hecatera dysodea, a fairly scarce species in Beds, but was once extinct in the UK in the early part of the 20th century. Broom, 19th July 2010.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

You lookin' at me?

This little chap was defending a territory ferociously against all-comers near a lookout in the Pacific-rim National Park. Hummers are VERY cool. Rufous Hummingbird, Vancouver Island, Canada, 31st May 2010.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Sunday, 4 July 2010

It's not a wasp...

I've been wanting to see one of these beasties for a long time. Finally I found the time to go and look for them. Absolutely fabulous looking insects. Hornet Clearwing, Hatch, Beds, 4th July 2010.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Glaucous-winged Gull? video 1

What I believe is the same bird as the one in this video, as been accepted as a Glaucous-winged Gull, the fourth British record.

The bird has been 'accepted' only from Beddington Farmlands on 21st-22nd April 2009. However, what is believed to be the same bird was also seen at Queen Mother Res, Calvert, Willen, Rainham, and Ware between 3rd February 2009 and its last date at Beddington. A remarkable looking gull seen at a remarkable set of sites.

More info can be found on Peter Alfrey's blog with plenty more chat from Peter here and here and here and here. Some more photos of this bird can be found on Birdforum too. Lee Evans also has a little to say here.

If you want to see all of my photos and video of this bird when it was at Stewartby Lake between 9th-11th March 2009, click here.

Glaucous-winged Gull? video 2

Glaucous-winged Gull? video 3

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