Whilst they may appear distinctive there is much debate over hybridisation in these species and as such the County Recorders at the Yorkshire Naturalist's Union are reticent to accept any record of caspian gull unless accompanied by a suitably accurate description along with a relevant CV in gull ID. All credit to Martin for taking the time to carefully assess and dismiss many potential candidates before preparing the case for this one which has just been accepted.
That said he also happy to report a second bird on Friday night that again is sufficient to be offered for submission - details here. An incidence of a bird is generally associated with a big movement of herring gulls - on Friday night peaking at 1052 birds with over 2000 passing through in the afternoon - in addition to a peak of 760 great black backed gulls with over 1000 through. So anyone trying to add this one anecdotaly to their Tophill list will need a good explanation!.
After the excitement of Darren's excellent otter photos last time we have no new ones to offer - suffice to say they have been showing exceptionally well all week - with three separate sightings on North Marsh today - Roy managed some video we hope to add next time, but Steve Brimble got these of some of the other inhabitants too; Roe deer:
Male reed bunting:
blog showing the kingfisher is still active. Roy Vincent also snapped female reed bunting:
And pheasant having an icy wade by Roy:
And home to many black headed gulls picking over presumed invertebrates driven up the ridges of the meadow before finally being flooded out:
And a nice flight of wigeon:
Elsewhere goosander reported, with mediterranean gull, lesser redpoll and siskin.
Finally just a reminder we're after entries for the 2013 membership card design. The rules are one per person and must have been taken at Tophill in the last year. Remember the image needs to work on a credit card size and entries in by the 31st of December. The winner gets a years membership - shortlisting by the reserve team and judging by vote in the YWS Land and Planning team - best of luck!
Alan Walkington's winner from last year: