I think it worked…
Well it was an education for me. Having never done anything quite like it. How would the 2 Gull days go?
2 different locations. 20 people, over 2 days. Birding experience ranged from 4 months to over 35 years! From perhaps the smallest British List to the biggest! Laminated crib sheets and aids to drawing the birds (outlines by David Quinn) were provided. I brought some wings and a specimen to demonstrate key features of wing tip pattern, and thankfully the birds showed up!
I asked for feedback. Thankfully they said it was O.K : ). Couldn’t have done it without Dominic M., Steve L., and Ian L.
I couldn’t have hoped for a better introduction to ‘Advanced Gulls’ (not to mention Cormorants!) and I can’t wait to get back out again, armed with a bit more knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, the inspiration to continue discovering… (Rick W.)
Thanks for a wonderful day today. I’m so pleased with those two Caspian gulls. I learned quite a bit – but most of all I just gained confidence to have a go, thanks to you, Dominic and Ian. Please pass on my thanks to them. Building confidence in others is a great skill to have! (Ken T.)
Yesterdays Gull lessons were excellent. If you ever get the chance to bird with Martin @birdingfrontier do it! Amazing knowledge+nice bloke. (Steve J.)
Just a quick note to say thank you for Friday. We both really enjoyed the day, and learnt a lot (even if we were feeling a little saturated by the end!). (David and Janet F.)
Although only been looking at birds since October last year I benefited hugely from Saturday and I really appreciated the effort you put in. It has helped immensely, I now feel I have a better understanding on how to work with gulls and will next time I’m out birding be paying a lot more attention to those finer details we spoke of. (Lee B.)
Its good to get first hand experience of the gulls and it increased my knowledge. A very useful day and well worth the price. (Steve W.)
A great day out in convivial company. I thought the day hit the right note to cater for birders with levels of different experience and certainly gave me lots of food for thought, as well as some useful materials to take away and study. (Ian L.)
Martin’s gull workshop was exceptionally good value for money, he imparted an immense volume of information on gull ageing, races, variation and identification, with excellent handouts and skins (including just wings!) to study. The wonderful aspect of the day was being able to see 1st winter Yellow-legged and Caspian Gull beside Herring Gulls so we could fully appreciate the full suite of differences. The day was not just about specific gull identification but how we could learn more when we are out studying gulls or any other species on our own. (David Darrell-Lambert, director Bird Brain UK Limited).
Photos of some of the Gulls..
Above a 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull at Albert Village Lake. Bit of tricky one and found by one of our guests- so well done. I think some of them were quicker to call it than I was.
Above 2 first winter Yellow-legged Gulls, Rainham. The first bird wasn’t an easy individual to pick out but looks much better in flight! The second bird a little easier. Can you see the moult in the wing coverts present on both. 2 photos on the ground by David Darrell-Lambert, flight shot by Dominic Mitchell.
One of 3 ‘subadult’ Yellow-legged Gulls seen at Rainham.This one a 2nd winter (3rd cal yr) by David Darrell-Lambert.
One of 2 Caspians seen at Rainham, David Darrell-Lambert
and to finish… we also saw Glaucous Gull, Mediterranean Gulls (1st w and adults), 3 leucisitic Black-headed Gulls, Finnish argentatus, probable Russian Common Gull, Water and littoralis Rock Pipit, 2 Peregrine, Hen Harrier, and very tame Fox and some very nice food and drink!
Steve Arlow photographed 4 first winter Caspian Gulls on the same Saturday at Pitsea and sent his very cool photos. The ringed bird came from Poland and was sen by Dominic in early Feb. Thanks for the pics guys! Especial thanks to Steve Lister, John Hague, Dominic Mitchell and Ian Lewington for all sorts!