Hooded Grebes - Patagonia - November 2016

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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Cuckmere Haven & Newhaven Harbour 2/8/16

A very wet and blustery day but I made the most of it after a lay in. The Cuckmere held no foreign tourists for a change, but unfortunately no foreign birds either. The best I could manage is the following:
Common Sandpiper - 3
Dunlin - 11
Whimbrel - 1
Greenshank - 1
Wheatear - 1 first autumn bird on patch

This afternoon/evening at low tide I went down Newhaven West Beach and found a minimum of four Yellow-legged Gulls amongst the many Herring and fewer Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

I had planned to go down to Cornwall for some seawatching today, and with 50+ large Shearwaters seen I was slightly gripped, but with yesterdays drive to Suffolk I couldn't cope with another lengthy drive.


 bird no. 1 - supporting a hefty bill, large size compared to Herring Gull, distinct dark tail band when seen in flight with limited spotting on upper-tail. Very long-winged like Lesser Black-backed but head with square-shaped.

 bird no. 2 - obvious pale window to base of primaries and no dark greater covert bar rules out Lesser Black-backed. Superb tail patterning and neat paler edges to very dark-centred tertials. Close ups of the medium coverts reveals no notching, just neat pale edges to the individual feathers.

bird no. 3 - the most awkward Gull of the afternoon with a more chocolate brown colouration on the upperparts. A very long legged individual with long wings, good looking tail band narrowing towards the edge, no notching on the tertials and a good eye mask on a pale, square-shaped head. Again a hint of a pale 'window' at the base of the primaries ruling out other similar species.

juv. Yellow-legged Gulls at Newhaven Harbour

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