Saturday, 27 September 2014

Værøy gulls

The harbour in Værøy attracts thousands of gulls when there is fishing activity. The Russian import ban had caused a temporary stop in activity but alternative markets have been found and there was fishing activity when we were there. Despite being north of the Arctic Circle the only white wing gull was the Glaucous Gull (polarmåke) seen on just one occasion. On Wednesday Kjell and I had a huge congregation of gulls around a fishing boat but try as we could we found nothing other than Herring (gråmåke) and Great Black-backed Gulls (svartbak). Also despite the considerable time spent ringing gulls in southern Norway we could find only a single bird with a ring.

the only ringed gull we saw was this 2cy Herring Gull (gråmåke) ringed on 13.11.2013 in Stavanger, reported on 05.04.2014 close to Stavanger before this sighting on Værøy, a distance of 1025km

the Herring Gulls in the north of Norway are of the same subspecies as those in Southern Norway, argentatus, but the northern birds are real brutes compared to their wimpy southern cousins

many of the adults have very little black in their primaries

a real scrum around the fishing boat

resting Herring Gulls (2 adult GBBG on the left and a young GBBG on the right)

further along teh harbour wall it was mostly Great Black-backed Gulls (svartbak)

these two are both 1cy Herring Gulls - look quite different don't they?!
another picture of the Glaucous Gull

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