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.

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