Friday, 10 February 2017

This one ain’t for you Terje!

This post will only cover gulls so if that ain’t your thing then look away now!
The car stayed safely locked today and I was sat in front of the PC translating a soon to hit the stores where to watch guide in the morning. Come lunchtime I decided I would take the bus down to the Opera to check on the gull situation. I was really hoping to see Iceland and Glaucous Gull together and was therefore very pleased to see the Iceland Gull with my first sweep over the resting gulls in Bispevika. I also spied Stig Kalvatn who had arrived just before me (clearly if Stig and I choose independently to go to the same location, at the same time in search of gulls then this increases the chances to finding something!). Stig was able to inform me that the Iceland was the “only” interesting gull.

I decided to buy some bread to see if I could encourage any more gulls to appear but just as I was about to throw it out something spooked the gulls. They all flew up and I threw out bread to encourage them to stay but the half that returned did not contain the Iceland. I stayed around for an hour without the Iceland or Glauc turning up but did have a pale Herring/hybrid thingy migiggy and also wondered over the array of plumages of the Herring Gulls present (whenever this happens I know it is time to go and lie down!).

Spot the Iceland Gull (grønlandsmåke)

It seems to have injred itself behind the bill
One of those pale 1st winter Herring Gulls (gråmåke) or possibly there are some Glaucous Gull genes present. The bird looked much more interesting when viewed from behind

This Herring Gul was interesting for the dark eye and the limited black in the primaries and also a small headed, long billed look. It still has a dark feather in the tail so is clearly not fully adult which might explain the dark eye. I guess this bird has to be a fourth winter / 5cy but the it is a strange bird with no signs of immaturity on the wing and the bill looks adult like suggesting it may be even older. However a 4th winter should have an all white tail so nothing really matches!  The limied black in the wing tips points at a northern origin
And what about this one? It had a very special jizz, sitting high in the water like a Black-headed Gull. I entertained thoughts of a 2nd winter Yellow-legged Gull but have no flight shots. Assuming that it is the more likely Herring Gull then is it an advanced 2dnd winter or a retarded 3rd winter?

These two should be fairly easily aged as 3rd winter and 2nd winter
look at the difference in head streaking on these adult (or near adult Herring Gulls). Thr bird middle left is the one with little black in the wing and the bird to its right must be a 4th winter with so much black on the bill

the variation in two adult Herring Gulls (although the upper bird could conveivably be a younger adult). The streaked bird is presumably a northern bird with a slightly darker mantle. The bird with the white head (which the majority of adults here now have) is presumably a local breeder but both are of the race argentatus I would assume that the British/continental argenteus also turns up but don't know whether anyone has put any effort into trying to identifying them.

The top two birds here are presuably both 3rd winter Herring Gulls but note that the upper bird has a younger looking bill and darker eye but more white in the primaries when compared to the middle bird.
I also had this bird with a distinctly Caspian like jiz and dark eye but never saw the wings..

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for nice Gull report. The first one I\d ever read to the bottom ;-)