Thursday, 8 March 2012

Snow and Gulls

The Mediterranean Gull was often mobbed by the Common Gulls

1st winter Mediterranean Gull and 1st winter Common Gull

After proclaiming that spring was coming the weather gods had to prove me wrong. We have just had 24 hours of heavy, wet snow that has deposited a layer about 15 cm deep. Temperatures have already risen above zero so it will soon melt but for those early migrants that took a chance this weather could well prove fatal.
The Oslo Med Gull was reported earlier this week as NOT being present so I took this as a challenge. Armed with some bread it took only a couple of minutes before I enticed it down amongst 50 or so Common Gulls.  It’s plumage is still 1st winter with no noticeable change from when I first saw it a couple of months ago. It will be interesting to see if it hangs around the Oslo area with the non-breeding Common Gulls. Hybrids between the two species are not unknown.
I grilled the Common Gulls hoping for a Ring-billed but only turned up an interesting 1st winter. This bird is very heavily marked on the underparts and differed markedly from the other 1st winters. I wonder where this bird comes from? Some more research is needed.
Common Gulls. The dark 1st winter on the left stands out

Very heavily barred on the underparts

The dark undersides can be seen clearly in flight
A ringed adult bird proved to have been ringed in Stavanger (302km away) in February last year and was also present there only 2 weeks ago.
In Frognerpark the overwintering Wigeon and Teal were still present and the single injured Tufted Duck had been joined by 12 others although the new arrivals held themselves apart.

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