As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Scouting for gulls: Conwy’s rare visitor from the Black Sea coast

Bird Notes columnist Julian Hughes of RSPB Conwy reveals the three rarities spotted in the past week and outlines where to go birding in the coming days

Andrew Forgrave
23:48, 15 MAY 2017

I was doing a waterbird survey on Saturday when local birder Marc Hughes sent a photo to my phone from the other end of RSPB Conwy reserve. 

His hunch was that he’d found a Caspian Gull , but he wanted a better view. And a second opinion. 

The photo looked good, and in the flesh it had a lot going for it as a Caspian Gull.

Identification requires a combination of features, but we remained slightly doubtful because the bill was not the colour we expected.

It was a big call, as it would only be the second ever seen in North Wales, and May is a surprising month to see one.

Marc grabbed a few more photos on his phone, and I scanned through gull pictures on the internet on mine.

When this chunky seabird spread its wings and flew, we became even more convinced that this was a Caspian Gull, but it circled high and disappeared towards Colwyn Bay , having been seen by just five people. 

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