Emperor Bird-of-Paradise - Huon Peninsular, Papua New Guinea (July 2019)

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Saturday, 30 November 2019

Cuckmere 30/11/19

After work I visited the Cuckmere as the lure of yet another day of easterly winds was too much to ignore. Driving down I noticed a large gull flock to the north of the road. It soon became clear there had been a good arrival of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and it didn't take many seconds to find a few Caspian Gulls. Overall in this flock (containing maybe 300 birds) produced nine superb Caspian Gulls. The majority were adults but there was a striking first-winter present to. Mixed in were plenty of  Yellow-legged Gulls of varying ages as well as several argentatus Herring Gulls. The views of all the Casps were brilliant and I enjoyed an hour scanning this flock.

I was keen to then hit the Lower Cuckmere as this normally holds more birds. Just prior to my arrival a large number of gulls took flight and headed out to sea. Much to my relief though was the presence of an enormous gull flock but frustratingly the flock I had just been watching had just joined them. I noticed at least one more different Caspian Gull, though I couldn't help but think I had arrived a few minutes too late to potentially find many more. The same first-winter showed well as did a couple of adults.

Totals as follows:

Caspian Gull - 10 (5 adults, 3 third-winters & 1 first-winter)
Yellow-legged Gull - ca. 15 (among many adults were 3 second-winters & 2 first-winters)
argentatus Herring Gull - ca. 30
Greater Black-backed Gull - ca. 2000
Lesser-black-backed Gull - ca. 750


first-winter Caspian Gull

three Caspian Gulls in this shot

third-winter Caspian Gull

adult Caspian Gull in flight;
1w Caspian & 1w Yellow-legged Gull
in the backround.

adult Caspian Gull