Sunday, 24 January 2016

Herring Gulls - believe it or not

Today has been the quietest day I can remember this winter in the garden and all because of the Sparrowhawk. After yesterday's commotion and judging by new tit feathers on the ground another attack his morning the other birds have been scared off. There has hardly been a sparrow to see and of the up to four Blackbirds that I have seen in the bushes in the garden none has dared to go onto the ground to feed. Birds clearly have longer memories than goldfish.

Whilst watching the dolphin on Friday I spent a bit of time looking at the handful of Herring Gulls in the area. They exhibited an interesting array of plumages and so much so that after a lot of heart searching I decided to make that rare move and having a post devoted to Herring Gulls. Enjoy.....

the on top is a 3cy(2nd winter) Herring Gull but one that hasn't come very far in moulting whereas the lower bird is a 2cy (1st winter) that is relatively advanced. Note the different bill colours, the pale iris of the 3cy, the rounded tips to the primaries of the 3cy compared to the pointed ones of the 2cy. The 3cy has also moulted some adult like grey feathers on the mantle
the same two birds

Two separate 4cy (3rd winter birds) with bottom bird having a cleaner more adult like plumage. The lower bird was small and dainty (a bit Iceland Gull like) and therefore likely to be a female
three different adults showing quite different amounts of head streaking
2 of the above birds

 This Herring Gull was strikingly dark which is I believe party explained by it still being largely in juvenile plumage

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