Saturday 30 March 2019

Third-winter Iceland Gull

It was a little quiet this morning at Shawell, as most of the gulls were hiding out of view behind a large earth bank. Around 13:00 a few more gulls came to the sandpit off Gibbet Lane and whilst searching through them I noticed a small gull hiding behind a sleeping Great Black-backed Gull. Its head looked quite Iceland Gull like, but its primary feathers were hidden as it was stood facing me. I moved to a better position to view its primaries and as I expected they were white.

It looked quite mature apart from its coverts, which were a slightly paler grey. Its bill was quite yellow, with a marking on the lower mandible only and its eyes were very pale. All these features suggest it may best be aged as a third-winter.

Third-Winter Iceland Gull, Shawell, March 30th 2019
Third-Winter Iceland Gull

Friday 29 March 2019

Juvenile Iceland Gulls

A couple of juvenile Iceland Gulls have visited Shawell this month. The first appeared on March 2nd and then went missing for 18 days. The last sighting of it was on the 21st when it showed distantly resting on the steep bank on the outside of the sandpit off Gibbet Lane.

On the 27th I spotted a different juvenile at the A5 Lagoons and it was at the landfill site on the 28th.

Juvenile at Shawell on March 2nd, 20th and 21st

Juvenile Iceland Gull, March 27th & 28th

Juvenile Iceland Gull, March 27th & 28th

Sunday 17 March 2019

Another look at the Adult Kumlien's Gull that is Visiting Shawell

I nipped over to Shawell on Friday lunchtime and almost the first bird I clapped eyes on was the adult Kumlien's Gull. As I mentioned before, this bird does need to be scrutinised. The dark markings on the otherwise pure white primaries are quite easily missed. However, there are some clues to its identification without seeing the darker markings on the primaries. The image below shows it to be a fairly robust bird, with a squarish head, a primary projection that doesn't look that long in comparison to the LBBGs and a short bill. The upperparts generally appear a little darker than a typical adult Iceland Gull too. These are all features of Kumlien's Gull.

Adult Kumlien's Gull, Shawell Sandpit (Larus glaucoides kumlieni)

Those looking for it may mistake it for an Iceland Gull; especially as there is room for confusion as an adult Iceland Gull is also visiting Shawell as present. The adult Iceland Gull is a smaller bird with round head giving it a cuter look.

Adult Iceland Gull, Shawell Sandpit  (Larus glaucoides)

The image below shows the dark marking on the outside edge of the longest primary feather.

Adult Kumlien's Gull, Shawell Sandpit (Larus glaucoides kumlieni)

An Updated Review of the White-Winged Gulls Seen at Shawell

An updated review of all the 'white-wingers' recorded at Shawell

It's been another first rate winter season for both Iceland and Glaucous Gulls at Shawell.

The first Glaucous Gull appeared on December 8th and so far nine different birds have been seen. The first Iceland Gull appeared on December 31st and so far five have been recorded including an adult Kumlien's Gull.

One of the regular Glaucous Gull

For those interested in seeing more photos and reading about the records of both Iceland and Glaucous Gulls seen at Shawell please follow the link below.

An updated review of all the 'white-wingers' recorded at Shawell

Saturday 2 March 2019

Adult Kumlien's Gull

Today was a great day for 'white-wingers' at Shawell Sandpit, two juvenile Glaucous and four Iceland Gulls including a subtle adult Kumlien's Gull.

Adult Kumlien's Gull

Adult Kumlien's Gull

Adult Kumlien's Gull

Juvenile Iceland Gull

Second-winter Iceland Gull

Juvenile Glaucous Gull