Well it had to happen eventually! Most readers will know I have a habit of sitting in a cold shed on stilts looking across D res at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire, going through the gulls on a regular basis.
This afternoon, I finally added the 'obvious' missing species to the site's bird list as a 1st winter Caspian Gull was present on the res 13.35-13.46 before disappearing south. The bird then reappeared briefly at 14.05 and again at 14.20 before flying SW as many birds often do during the afternoon, presumably heading south to the Humber to roost. After having 4 previous candidates over the last 10 years I'm happy enough to call this one.
Interestingly, there was a noticeable increase in the number of Herring Gulls present this weekend with 45+ birds noted Saturday evening and maybe another 30-50 birds through the site this afternoon. Maybe there is some sort of movement occurring and this bird was caught up in it, especially with there also being a 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull, another uncommon species, also appearing, before it too flew south.
So as I enter winter number 11 of gull roosting at Tophill Low (I dread to think how many hours that has entailed) , thats 12 species of gull on my site list... unless the next one is a Sabine's it should be a BB rare!
Got to be in it to win it... and note the the rarer gulls historically are one night wonders, or in the case of the Franklin's Gull going way back in history... it dropped in, stayed 15 minutes or so then left.