Amongst the LBB Gulls this weekend were some really dark individuals. These are of the sub-species Larus fuscus intermedius, which are birds that nest to the east of Britain mainly in Norway. The sub-species Larus fuscus fuscus (Baltic Gull), which nests in eastern Scandinavia is the darkest backed of the group with the whole wing looking black. The sub-species that nests in Britain is larus fuscus graellsii and this one has dark grey upper parts that contrast clearly with the blacker primary (wingtip) feathers. The blackest of the gulls I saw yesterday also had very long wings which is a feature of the sub-species Baltic Gull. However, the organiser of the Norwegian gull ringing scheme stated to me that fuscus type LBB Gulls are nesting near Tromso. From this I take it that some Larus fuscus intermedius look like Larus fuscus fuscus. I have seen coloured-ringed LBB Gulls from Tromso at Shawell a few times, but they weren't as dark as the bird in the photo below. Hopefully a colour-ringed Baltic Gull will be seen at Shawell sometime, as this is probably the only way of being certain of its origins.
The bird in the photograph below is much darker than others I've seen that were ringed in Norway as intermedius, also its quite long winged.
| Larus fuscus but which one? (lying down)|
The Yellow-legged Gulls are mostly adults or sub-adults, but all ages are represented. The least common are juveniles and first-summers.