Delighted the Gull Masterclass Day on 30th November went really well. Toby C. did a great job at organising a whole bunch of stuff including a base, maps, recce and chips and hot drinks to celebrate at the end. Very grateful that Chris Gibbins was able to join us. Thanks Toby and Chris, to Dave Britton for all the encouragements and for a great group of guys on the day. One of those funny things happened. Many of the local birders had apparently never seen Caspian Gull in either Cleveland or co. Durham and some had never seen a Caspian Gull at all. Anywhere. Expectation of the day perhaps created a little shift in thinking and amazingly up to 4 different Caspian Gulls were seen, 3 first winters and 1 3rd winter. Locals came out in numbers and we as a group also saw 2 Mediterranean Gulls (ad. and 2nd w), glimpsed up to 2 first winter Yellow-legged Gulls and several lovely juvenile Northern argentatus Herring Gulls some perhaps of a different population, sometimes thought to be from NE Finland.
Most importantly we really had fun learning together. Skills and confidence definitely seemed to go up a whole bunch. Some are already talking about coming on the next one. So Toby and I have put a few future dates in the diary to run basically the same programme on Teesside. Details to follow, but feel free to express an interest
Wed 18th Jan and Sat 21st Jan
Wed 7th March and Sat 10th March
See Tristan Reid’s (kind) write up of the day and more photos: here
1st winter Caspian Gulls, Seaton Common, November 30th 2011 © Tristan Reid.
1st winter Caspian Gulls, Seaton Common, November 30th 2011 © James Robson
juvenile argentatus Herring Gull, Seaton Common, December 2011 © Toby Collett
juvenile argentatus Herring Gull, Seaton Common, 30th Nov 2011 © Tristan Reid
Bonuses included a scattering of White-fronted Geese with a Pink-footed Goose throw in too.