Friday, 22 January 2021

Beddington Farmlands, Gull session

This first-winter Caspian-type Gull has been around for a while (Photos from December 2020). Still haven't scored it yet using British Birds published criteria but there's a few interesting features such as the darkish mask,  streaking on hind neck and crown, atypical pale at the base of the bill and extensive dark in the tail (two images below).  I certainly miss the days when we used to have three or four different Caspian Gulls on any one day during the winter (when the landfill was operational). Here's a blog search for Caspian Gulls that we've had over the years : HERE. 290121- finally scored this bird, results HERE

A much better photo of the same bird at QE2 Reservoir taken by Dave Harris
Had this adult Yellow-legged Gull today (didn't look as dark as this in field, in this image it looks more herring x lesser black-backed gull toned ). Also in the field the legs were chrome yellow.  
This first-winter bird (on left) stood out from the crowd in having a contrasting pale head and extensively dark and uniform coverts and tertials. It was quite small too and even reminded me a bit of first-winter Armenian Gull (which are like diminutive first-winter Yellow-legged Gulls ). Here's a photo of Armenian Gulls that I took in Turkey in 2009 (below).  Armenian Gull has now been recorded in NW Europe (an adult) so it's worth bearing in mind but identifying a first-winter would be extremely difficult. The bird above is most likely the result of hybridisation or variation .

Another interesting gull that stood out today. A second-winter bird with a long pink based and dark tipped bill. Again either the result of variation of hybridisation. 
This handsome first-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull was just outside the hide 

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