Sunday 30 August 2015

Adult Baltic Gull?

Yesterday morning at Cotesbach landfill site I came across a gull that looked good for a Baltic Gull. It was an adult, it was jet black and its jizz seemed spot on. Unfortunately one of the machine drivers started working in front of the gulls and flushed them.

Later on that afternoon I spotted it again and this time it was at the A5 Lagoons. I scanned through the gulls on the shore and then BANG!!! It stood out like a sore thumb due to its jet black upperparts. I told Steve Nichols that I had the Baltic Gull contender that I first saw in the morning and got him on it. Steve relayed the features to me as he saw them and he picked up on all the features that a text book adult Baltic Gull should show. He then added 'it's a shame it hasn't got a colour-ring'. A colour-ringed Baltic Gull will come to Shawell eventually, but until then this is as good as it gets.

This is the second Baltic Gull candidate I have had this summer/autumn. However, unlike the first one, which was a second-calendar year, this one might be a none starter without a colour-ring. Second-calendar year Baltic Gulls have a different moult strategy compared to Lesser Black-backed Gulls, which makes them identifiable in summer. There is also some evidence to suggest that autumn adults can be done on moult too, but this may need further research.

Below is a video of the adult - enjoy 

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