Monday, 31 October 2011

Headaches from the rock...number 2

There were two 'Herring Gulls' on the airport Thursday 27th October while I was searching the valleys. However, it was not until the next day that we managed to get some flight shots of one of the birds. In the field, this individual had a swarthy feel - with blotching (not streaking) coming through on the nape and breast sides - as well as large size and pale upperparts. All decent starting points to start looking more closely at it as a smithsonianus.

I've done a fair bit of swotting up on the subject this evening, ranging from PAC's adult on Flores in December 2005 in Dutch Birding to the more usual references such as Gulls of the Americas and the standard DB American Herring Gull reference. And also a few internet searches, including the regular bird in Ireland (

primaries show grey pinching into the black tips - 'bayonets' to P7 and P8?

pale underside tongue to P10 long and rectangular

tricky to get exact primaries here due to photo quality. P5 seems to show that black 'W' over both webs...

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