Today I was checking my local gull patches for any ringed or otherwise interesting individuals and was doing some sound recording at the same time.
While feeding a small group of Black-headed Gulls, a gull came flying overhead while calling regularly. It didn’t sound like a Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus), European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) or perhaps a Common Gull (Larus canus) which were the 3 gull species that I would expect to encounter.
When looking up I saw a large juvenile gull landing on a rooftop nearby and immediately saw that it was a first-calendar year Caspian Gull (Larus cachinnans).
I have very little experience with Caspian Gull behavior or their different types of calls so it is difficult for me say what type of call this is. It seemed to be directed towards other large gulls that were also flying around (none of which were Caspian Gulls as far as I was aware). For the moment I’ll leave it as some kind of contact call.
Sightings of Caspian Gulls in my home town of Leiden are relatively rare, with only 8 observations reported on the national site of bird observations www.waarnemingen.nl.
Sound recordings are even rarer, with only 4 of them logged on the same site so far.
A nice encounter therefore in many ways which proves once more that you never know what to expect when going birding!
Xeno-canto.org More Caspian Gull recordings