Thursday, 18 January 2018

Caspian Gulls, Larnaca, Cyprus

Living in North West England, Caspian gull is still quite a rarity in my area and I don't get to see very many, so visiting a place like Cyprus where there are lots in winter is a good way to try to get to grips with them. At Larnaca in particular they were very common during my stay there this week, far outnumbering all other big gulls even yellow-legged. The area around Larnaca waste water treatment works and the salt lake at Yialos held at least 300 birds, and there were other smaller flocks at Larnaca salt lake and elsewhere.

Caspian gull is often said to have a distinct jizz, but unless you see a lot of them it's hard to get to grips with this feature. By the end of this short birding break I was at least able to have an appreciation of the jizz of a Caspian, even if it still won't necessarily be obvious in the gull roost at Pennington Flash.

One of the features I noticed of birds in flight was the amazing similarity in jizz to pomarine skua, you can even see this in the photo of the adult above, it's a great big barrel chested bird.

I was always under the impression that Caspian in flight would have pale tongues in the outer primaries, as in the photo below. However whereas that bird was simply gliding around and about to land, all of the other flight shots here are of birds heading away from the reservoir and battling against quite a strong wind. I'm not sure that the tongues are always visible in such circumstances. Perhaps they are more of feature of a spread wing.

Caspian gulls and at least one Heuglin's gull.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts