Saturday, 16 December 2017

Iceland Gull Again

Learning about and identifying gulls takes a great deal of time and patience. Ideally you need to travel to where the gulls are common. I've done that with quite a few species, but not yet for Iceland Gull. The latest white-winger at Shawell looks darker in the field than other juvenile Icelands I've seen. It shows quite distinct markings across the primaries on its folded wing and has quite dark underparts and well marked upperparts. The primaries are a darker buff colour compared to the usual white primaries I've seen on other juveniles..

My thoughts turned to Kumlien's Gull, but to clinch that I would need to photograph the spread upperwing. I didn't manage that on Tuesday, but with the help of a young Herring Gull today I managed to see get a glimpse (see the video). Initially it looked as though it had dark outer webs on the outer primaries, but further review of the video showed that it doesn't have the right pattern for a Kumlien's, so an interesting Iceland Gull it is in my opinion.

Juvenile Iceland Gull, Shawell, December 16th 2017

Juvenile Iceland Gull, Shawell, December 16th 2017


The Video is Best Watched at HD Quality.


Juvenile Iceland Gull, Shawell, December 16th 2017

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Iceland Gull

This morning I spotted a juvenile Iceland Gull on the southernmost lagoon at Shawell A5 Lagoons. The video below shows the bird, but as you can see the bright sunlight has bleached it. It was darker in real life and it had marking on its primaries that had me considering Kumlien's Gull. To clinch that ID I would really need to photograph it with its wings open. There is a hint on the longest primary that the outer web is darker, but this might be shadow. For now I will call it an Iceland Gull.



Best watch the video at full screen to see the pattern on the primaries although it is no where near as obvious as in the field. The bleaching is obvious when compared with the adult Herring Gull.



I had deliberately took a couple of hours off work this morning knowing there was most likely to be ice on the A5 Lagoons near Shawell. I have had a good track recorded of turning up good gulls when the ice comes.

Not surprisingly the lagoons were frozen. There was lots of gulls on the larger lagoon and the highlight was a Herring Gull ringed near Troms, Norway. J3613 was also at in 2013 and 2105. Its life-history also shows a visit to Vardo near the very top of Norway.


Three Caspian Gull were on the ice as well: 2 adults and a second-winter.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Germany to Shawell and on to Spain

During September I picked up a very obvious moulting juvenile Caspian Gull. It was obvious because it had a yellow ring on its leg with the code X477 and also because it had a bi-coloured bill. X477 was ringed on 03/06/17 at Bad Duben, Germany. It then appeared at Shawell in early September and stayed until late October.

Well it's now sunning itself down in Malaga. I'm pretty sure it would have followed the Lesser Black-backed Gulls down there.

X477 at Shawell in September 2017

White-Wingers at Shawell so Far.

White-wingers (Iceland and Glaucous Gulls) are the highlight of the winter months for any gull watcher prepared to suffer the cold. Below is an account of all the denizens of the frozen Arctic wastes that have graced Shawell. 

The finder is the first name or initials. I have used my initials (CDB) and everyone else is named.


Glaucous Gull

23 have been seen to date. Just slightly more common than Iceland Gull.

2012


  • Juvenile Glaucous Gull, Cotesbach Landfill site on January 4th (Neil Hagley)
  • Juvenile, Cotesbach Landfill site on December 28th (CDB). At the time it was raining very heavily and it was very windy, so I didn’t risk damaging my camera. 



2013

  • Fourth-winter at both Cotesbach Landfill site and the A5 Lagoons on February 16th (CDB, Andy Forryan and  Garsham Roberts). 




















  • Juvenile at the A5 Lagoons on February 22nd (CDB).




















  • Second-winter at both Cotesbach Landfill site and the A5 Lagoons on March 9th (Steve Lister, CDB). 




















  • Juvenile at the A5 Lagoons on March 16th (CDB). It spent all afternoon on the lagoons. 




















  • Juvenile at Shawell A5 Lagoons on March 27th (CDB).  I consider it to be a different individual to the one on March 16th due to its small size and plumage differences. 




















  • Adult at Cotesbach Landfill site on March 28th (CDB).



















  • Second-winter or pale juvenile at the A5 Lagoons on December 14th (CDB, Steve Nichols). 


















2014



  • Second-winter at Cotesbach landfill site and the A5 Lagoons on January 18th (CDB). 



















2015



  • Second-winter at the A5 Lagoons and Cotesbach Landfill site on January 20th to 24th (CDB, Steve Nichols, Dave Scott and Andy Forryan). 



















  • Third-winter at Cotesbach Landfill site on January 25th. 


















2016

  • Juvenile at Cotesbach Landfill site on January 9th (CDB). 


















  • Juvenile on January 16th & 21st and February 18th (CDB, Steve Nichols).


















  • Second-winter, January 21st at the A5 Lagoons (CDB, Steve Nichols). It had an injured leg. 


















  • Fourth-winter at both Cotesbach landfill site and the A5 Lagoons on February 18th (CDB). 



















2017


  • Juvenile at the A5 Lagoons on January 11th (CDB). 

















  • Juvenile at the sand quarry on January 21st (CDB). 


















  • Juvenile at the sand quarry on January 27th & 28th and February 4th (CDB, Steve Nichols, Mike Alibone).



















  • Juvenile (dark individual) at the sand quarry on February 11th (CDB, Tim Kociuch, Steve Nichols).


  • Adult at the sand quarry on February 11th (CDB, Tim Kociuch). This one had a colour-ring (orange G1NT) that was fitted by the North Thames Gull Group in March 2015. It has also been seen in Northamptonshire and Cheshire. It or another was again seen on February 17th at the landfill (Steve Nichols) and on February 18th in the sand quarry (CDB). On both the 17th & 18th its colour-ring was not visible, but on the 18th CDB saw the same or a similar mark on the adults neck that is visible in the photo from the 11th. G1NT was last seen by Steve Nichols on march 4th.



  • Adult with some vestiges of winter plumage at the landfill on February 17th (Steve Nichols). 
  • Juvenile at the sand quarry on February 18th (CDB). 


















  • Juvenile on the landfill area December 9th (CDB, Steve Nichols). 

















Iceland Gull

A total of 22 birds have been seen to date.

2009



  • Juvenile between February 9th and 19th (Neil Hagley et al). Photo Here
  • Adult on February 23rd (Andy Howes).
  • Second-winter on December 11th and 12th (Neil Hagley and Dave Gray). Photo Here
  • Second-winter (Kumlien's Gull) March 6th to 18th (Neil Hagley et al) Photo Here

2010


  • Second-winter on the A5 Lagoons on February 24th (Dave Gray.
2011

  • Third-winter on the A5 Lagoons on December 27th (Garsham Roberts).

2012


  • Third-winter at the A5 Lagoons between January 9th and 28th (CDB, Neil Hagley et al). Presumably the same as the one on December 27th 2011.




















  • Second-winter at the A5 Lagoons on February 29th (CDB). This one was probably a male and it had a distinctive bill pattern. Not photographed due to camera failure.

  • Second-winter at the A5 Lagoons on March 3rd (CDB, Steve Lister, Garsham Roberts).




















  • Adult at the A5 Lagoons on March 1oth and 17th. (Neil Hagley, CDB and Steve Lister). Seen by Neil on the 10th and re-found by CDB on the 17th. Not photographed.
  • Second-winter at the A5 Lagoons on March 23rd (Dave Gray, CDB).



























2013

  • a biscuit coloured Juvenile at the landfill site on February 9th (CDB). Not photographed.

  • a pale juvenile at the A5 Lagoons on March 9th, 27th and 28th plus April 6th (CDB, Steve Lister).




























2014
  • second-winter at both the landfill site and the A5 Lagoons on January 18th (CDB, Steve Nichols, Dave Gray).



























  • Adult at the A5 lagoons on march 15th (CDB).








  • Third-winter at the A5 Lagoons on December 17th and 20th (CDB, Steve Nichols)


























2015
  • Juvenile at the A5 Lagoons briefly on March 14th (CDB).



























2016

  • Juvenile at the A5 Lagoons on February 12th (CDB). 

























  •  Faded juvenile at the A5 Lagoons regularly from March 16th (CDB, Steve Nichols). Sadly it broke its wing and had to be taken into care and put to sleep as the injury was too severe. 
















  • third-winter at both the landfill site and the A5 Lagoons on April 9th (CDB).

















2017
  • juvenile at the sand quarry on January 21st and February 7th & 11th (CDB, Steve Nichols, Tim Kociuch).

















  • Adult at the sand quarry on February 4th (CDB).



  • Juvenile at the lagoons on December 12th (CDB).


To be continued...