He's not got another Caspian Gull has he? Oh, I think he has. Stick with it though reader, it's not a dot in the dark this time.
Even though birding time is at a premium at this time of year, restricted to weekends and approaching the shortest day. It really is a case of not knowing what to do with yourself, things are pretty quiet, and not until January will the same birds become a year tick again.
But the weekend began with a usual check of Uttoxeter Quarry. With Andy already around, 3 Pink-footed Geese were with the Greylag flock. Two of those birds are definitely new in, and plenty of duck around. But the undoubted highlight was the sight of a small, dark falcon going full pelt, a female Merlin! Shortly after losing the bird, a flock of Starlings and Lapwings in the next field scattered themselves and took to the air. After that little triumph it wasn't going to get any better, so time to move on.
The next port of call was Silverdale Country Park, where recent goodies have included a juvenile Iceland Gull and two different Caspian Gulls. On first sight of The Void, plenty of gulls were still on the ice, but by the time of getting to the water's edge and setting the scope up, the vast majority of them took off, typical. Thankfully however, the first-winter Caspian Gull remained, and that was the bird I wanted to see, never seen a first-winter before.
A really distinctive gull, especially at this distance. And what a massive hooter!