Wednesday 25 December 2019

Caspian Gull X78C Update

This morning I received an email from the ringing project leader, so this is just a quick post to fill in the gaps about last week's Axe Casp...

From the ringing location to the Axe Estuary is roughly 800 miles.

So, ringed as a pullus in June, and 800 miles further W by December. I love how mobile gulls are. Anyway, as you will have noticed, it was ringed as a Caspian Gull. However, the gull colony it came from is notorious for inter-specific promiscuity, so hybrid traits would not be a surprise in any gull hatched there. As I've stated previously, despite the bird's not-quite-textbook plumage I am comfortable with recording it as a Caspian Gull myself (see HERE). And obviously I'm pleased to have had this viewpoint vindicated by some birders who are far more experienced with Casp than I am (see HERE). At the end of the day it is me who has to be happy with what I count, even if my decision might not meet with the universal approval of my fellow birders (though I'm not aware that's the case with this bird, by the way). I'm not some rabid lister, desperate to include any old sketchy rubbish to get my numbers up; I do have standards. But neither do I require perfection; to me, that's a bit unrealistic.

I feel I've really learned something through this bird, and I hope that one or two NQS readers might have as well. I think it's been dead useful for us SW birders, who aren't as familiar with the taxon as some.

So there you go. That striking and rather characterful gull is my 13th Axe Casp.

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