Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Saturday's gull again

A few tweets and facebook messages later, not everyone is agreeing. And that's what is good about gulls as it's not necessarily a precise science. Saturday's gull (see here) continues to polarise views with Glaucous, Iceland and hybrid all still being suggested by individuals who all know something about gulls.

So now I've had a bit of time to sleep on things, look objectively at it as well as take in points made by others. There is actually a different way of looking at things compared to Saturday's subjective, jizz related observation.
2nd-winter Iceland Gull Essex 28th February 2015?
One of Europe's top gullers, who to his credit doesn't sit on the fence, got me to think slightly differently. What are the characteristics of a 2nd-winter Iceland Gull?
- tepid green/yellow bill with black subterminal band
- pale iris
- white plumage with some hoary marking on the coverts
- dark pink legs
- long primary projection
2nd-winter Iceland Gull Essex 28th February 2015?
Does this bird show all of the above features? Yes. Therefore it's a 2nd-winter Iceland Gull. Despite the structure being more stocky, Herring Gull-esque, it should still be within the range of a very large Iceland Gull. There are no plumage traits that suggest otherwise [and of course Iceland Gulls do not interbreed].
2nd-winter Iceland Gull Essex 28th February 2015?
This bird has and is a massive headache, and has been put to one side by one of Britain's best bird finders, identified as a Glaucous Gull in Surrey, an Iceland Gull in Essex (well done Paul H!) and as a suspect, potential Herring Gull hybrid by yours truly most recently.

It takes a bloke with bigger bollocks than most to change their mind, so there you go. And I'm warming to the glaucoides idea. In the grand scheme of things though, few people are interested in gulls anyway...

No comments:

Post a Comment