During the last few days, early morning fogs made it very difficult to go seawatching. So, to make the most of my time, I´ve been reading gull rings in Peniche. With a good assortment of local yellow-legged gulls from Berlenga island and some lesser-black-backed gulls from central Europe, it´s enough to keep me busy.
On the 3rd of September, there was a black ring on the right tíbia N(F|5), with a thick fog and a sea of brownish gulls in the water, I just took some shots at this pale headed gull. I knew it would belong to the Netherlands, being a tibia ring, but I did not think of Caspian, I thought it was a Lesser-black-backed. It´s not that I'm not aware how to id a Caspian gull, but I guess I was not focused enough! I sent the report to Roland-Jan Buijs, that reply right away with a message confirming it was a Caspian gull from the small colony near Lelystad. Very cool!!
Looking at the photos all the Caspian features are there, in particular, that obvious pear-shaped head...oh well...lesson learned!
On the morning of 4th September, again, at the river mouth in Peniche reading rings. A young Audouin´s gull showed up for a drink. Although the species its quite common at the south coast (Algarve), on the west coast, and particular in Peniche, the sightings are quite scarce.
After the Audouin's gull, just a few minutes later, a pale young gull shows up. It was a 1cy, (very pale) Herring gull. I never saw a bird this pale before, but I can´t fit the bird in anything else but on the pale side of variation of young Herring gulls. Feel free to comment if you feel different.
Birding Portugal & Spain - Blog
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I was born in west Portugal and began birding at the age of 11. I have particular interest in bird ringing (banding), moult, seabirds and rarities. Currently I work as a guide for Birds & Nature Tours.
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