23.11.19 Caspian Gulls

Despite a forecast of heavy rain and high winds, it was in fact relatively dry with a light to moderate south easterly. Although that did little in terms of birds on the ground it did produce a sudden arrival of Caspian Gulls to South East Britain. JP and I visited the Hollow, Cow Gap, Old Trapping Area, Birling Gap and Belle Tout.

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3rd win Caspian Gull passing east at Birling Gap (photo. JP)

This bird looks very similar (being mostly black billed) to a 3rd winter bird watched by Matt Eade earlier in the Cuckmere, where he had 5 that morning. A further 11 were seen at Dungeness.

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3rd win. Caspian Gull following on from a 1st winter – both my first at Beachy Head. (photo JP)

Two Caspian Gull (1st and 3rd winters) passing east Birling Gap, mostly amongst a passage of Great black backed Gulls, were the only highlights of a late autumn morning. In terms of passerines there were 2 Firecrest in Cow Gap, and about 10 Goldcrest and 3 Chiffchaff across all sites, a Black Redstart was at Birling Gap. Of note I saw my latest ever Swallow flying east along the cliffs at Rottingdean on the 21st.

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