New species of gull for the park

Regent's Park 5th December

It has been fairly quiet in the park for the past few weeks, with only the odd interesting record. These have been single Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, small numbers (less than 10) of Redwing, Fieldfare and Lesser Redpoll. Waterfowl numbers have increased with the arrival of Tufted Ducks, possibly from as far away as Russia. Mandarins and Shovelers also number over 30+ individuals.

I have been checking the lake most in the hope of finding something more interesting. Yesterday afternoon this happen, while checking the gulls out on the lake at 2.40pm my attention was drawn to a large attractive pale headed bird. My first thought was that it could be a 1st winter Caspian Gull, however this is a species that I have only seen twice before and they were distant adults up in Norfolk. The light was quite good and I managed to take a few distant photos of the bird perched and in flight. Once I got home I was even more convinced of the birds identity but so airing on the side of caution I posted 4 pictures on twitter @parksbirdlondon saying 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull in Regent's Park. I then sat back and waited to see what reaction I got, it wasn't long before the first of a few said that it looked more like a 1st winter Caspian Gull. I then posted a few more photos showing other features that all added up to the bird being Inner London's first Caspian Gull. It didn't stay long, heading off towards London Zoo after about 10 mins.