Saturday 27 April 2019

Second Calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull

I started today by visiting both Cropston and Swithland reservoirs hoping for something to have been blown in on Storm Hannah, but I was disappointed. Brascote Pits was my next choice of location, but all was quiet there too.

I eventually arrived at Shawell just before lunch and you guessed it, it was quiet there too.

The only gull that took my eye was a second calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull that was skulking amongst a few hundred gulls on the bank between the two lagoons by the A5 road. The white squarish head with an obvious mask caught my eye, but other features are quite subtle. The mantle colour and pattern is very similar to many same aged Yellow-legged Gulls that I've seen in Portugal in spring. There are several replaced lesser coverts and a singe greater covert. This is quite retarded for most michahellis, but about right for lusitanius. However, I have seen similar looking birds in Bulgaria in January, so probably within variation of michahellis.

Second Calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull, Shawell

Second Calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull, Shawell

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