Friday, October 31, 2008


Redwing, Little Gransden, 31st October 2008 © Adrian George
'A marginally better effort than yesterdays' to quote Adrian

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Caspian Gull hybrid?

3CY Caspian Gull hybrid?, Cottenham Long Drove, 30th October 2008, © Dick Newell
In many respects, this bird looks pretty good for a Caspian Gull. It has long wings, long legs, a good head-shape, slender bill, a beady eye well forward, and the typical shawl around the base of the neck of a Caspian Gull. However it has fairly bright yellow legs, a bright bill and a bill-shape that is not quite straight enough for a Caspian Gull, it droops a little in a manner similar to Yellow-legged Gull. So my guess would be that this is a hybrid Yellow-legged x Caspian Gull (RGN).


Redwing, Little Gransden, 30th October 2008 © Adrian George
One of 12 to 15 Redwings that suddenly appeared on a berry bush adjacent to Adrian's house after spotting it while flying over.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

American Golden Plover

American Golden Plover, Mare Fen, 29th October 2008 © Richard Thomas


Cormorant, Wicken Fen, 29th October 2008 © Garth Peacock
They were quietly enjoying the evening sun until an unwelcome visitor tried to join in setting off this reaction.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Whooper Swan

Whooper Swan, Fen Drayton RSPB, 28th October 2008 © Colin Brown
Photographed near the sluice gate leading to the river.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Caspian Gull

Adult and 3CY Caspian Gulls, Cottenham Long Drove, 27th October 2008, © Dick Newell
2 out of 3 Caspian Gulls present with at least 10 Yellow-legged Gulls. The adult only stayed long enough for this 1 record shot. The 3CY was a little more cooperative.


Goosander, Milton CP, 27th October 2008 © Jonathan Heath
A record shot of this short stayer.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow, Wicken Fen, 21st October 2008 © Garth Peacock
Coming to the feeders at the Roger Clarke hide.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron, Horningsea, 21st October 2008 © Luca Patriccioli

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Common Gull

Common Gull, Cambridge, 19th October 2008 © Richard Hall
Taken on Parkers Piece in central Cambridge

Yellow-legged/Caspian Gull?

Yellow-legged/Caspian Gull?, Paxton Pits, 19th October 2008, © Jamie Wells
At first sight, the bullet-hole eye, rounded head and parallel-sided bill, make this gull look like a Caspian Gull. However, it looks a little dark and the mirror on P10 is the typical trapezoidal shape of adult Yellow-legged Gull. However, the bird is not fully adult, there is a brown smear on the tertials, so the mirror might not mean much. The bird does not exhibit the ridiculous long-winged appearance of some Caspian Gulls. Apparently there were some grey tongues protruding into the black on the primaries.
Without a view of the legs, this bird may be best left unidentified, it could even be a hybrid (RGN).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Scaup & Tufted Duck

Scaup and Tufted Duck, Wicken Fen, 18th October 2008 © Richard Hall
Photo taken from Westmere Hide

Friday, October 17, 2008

Yellow-legged Gull

Yellow-legged Gull, Landbeach, 11th October 2008, © Dick Newell
This gull has a very large mirror on P10 merged into the white tip on that feather. It also has a mirror on P9. The black band on P5 is a bit greyed out on the inner web and is not continuous across the feather, it is split in the middle. The pattern of P9 and P10 as well as the lack of a mark on P4 seems to fit what Olsen & Larsson say about eastern populations of Yellow-legged Gull. Or is it just an unusual western Mediterranean bird?

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Female Teal, Ferry Meadows, 9th October 2008 © Garth Peacock
An experiment in back-lit photography in the late afternoon sun.


Cormorant, Ferry Meadows, 9th October 2008 © Peter Beesley

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe, Ferry Meadows, 9th October 2008 © Peter Beesley
I had to twist Peter's arm to let me post this most unusual photograph - GP

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail, Grafham Water, 5th October 2008 © Stuart Elsom
This adult male was very obliging at the south end of the dam - SE

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Yellow-legged Gull

Yellow-legged Gull, Cottenham Long Drove, 4th October 2008, © Dick Newell
This bird is about as streaky-headed as nominate michahellis gets, it is also quite dark, although not quite as dark as it seems in this photograph. It is not fully adult, as evidenced by the black alula, so the lack of a mirror on P10 is not informative. However, one is tempted to speculate that it might be atlantis.

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis, Sutton Gault, 4th October 2008 © Tony Mills

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis, Sutton Gault, 4th October 2008 © Jamie Wells