We were down at Dungeness beach on Monday searching for Caspian Gulls. I have studied all the books and know how to identify juvenile Caspians but theory and practice are vastly different. The advantage of going to Dungeness was that it has two Polish colour ringed birds. So this was a case of spot the colour ring rather than spot the Caspo.
It didn't help. We started by searching the beach area and gull roosts around the fishing boats. Plenty of Herring Gulls, Greater Black-backed and Black-headed but no Caspians, or at least none that we could identify. The wind was fierce so we soon retired to the car and parked up so that we could scan the gulls in comfort. Still no luck. We found one ringed bird but that was a Herring Gull.The only consolation was that a couple of other birders were having the same problem.
In the end we dipped but we did have a brief stop at the ARC hide and had good views of a Great White Egret and Marsh Harrier.
Great White Egret, a superb looking bird sideways on.......
Not too bad, but with a white bird it's always difficult to get the exposure right so that you can see the feather detail.
The Marsh Harrier gave some great flybys but was difficult to photograph against the sky. Fortunately he did one low pass with the water as a background.
Not the Caspos we were looking for but at least a couple of decent birds to photograph, so it wasn't a wasted day.