Thursday, 13 January 2022

Caspian Gull, Redgate recycling centre

Great though it is to see a Caspian gull at long range in the roost at Pennington Flash in the last few minutes of daylight, it's quite refreshing to visit a recycling centre and see one well in bright sunlight for prolonged periods. I can understand that birding at a tip might not be everybody's cup of tea but I think that it's worth spending some time watching these birds at close range so that when I do see one come into the roost I'm confident about what I'm looking at. 

The 1st winter bird currently at Redgate recycling centre in Gorton, Manchester is a really magnificent bird, with a gleaming white head, distinctive dark neck collar, long legs, classic pear shaped head and long black bill. Quite unmistakable. 

At the tip it's also possible to observe the birds behaviour. Caspian gull has a diagnostic "albatross-posture" whereby it opens it's wings and raises it's head when long calling, as can be seen in these photos. Apparently herring gull never does this, that species always calls with it's wings closed.

What a bird, classic long legs, pear shaped head and long black bill.

Plenty of other impressive gulls at the centre and none more so that these magnificent great black backs. Look at the size of them compared to the herring gulls!

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