A small but recently productive group of larger Gulls are often loafing on the NW bank of the Lockwood. I've been approaching and watching them whilst sat on the ground, and then walking round so as not to flush them; and its paid off, in that they seem to let me get fairly close.
We've undoubtedly had some good Gulls this winter for an inland 'urban' site , Quite a few Yellow-legs and two 1st winter Caspian Gulls, but I thought some "decent" pics of recent Yellow-legged wouldn't go amiss as they are sometimes hardwork. This first bird was first seen sitting down and, from a distance, I really thought it was a Caspian, it looked so white-headed and snouty, after geting closer and some back and forth picture messages with friend L. Pitcher, based on the south coast, it became totally clear that this was a 1st winter Yellow-Leg, the moult in the inner median and greater coverts threw me at first, these feathers were blowing around in the wind and looked like wing damage to the bird in the field. The 2nd generation feathers are much clearer to see in a static photo I find.
Here's the bird in flight. Note the moulted section of the wing, and faint window in the inner primaries, white upper-tail etc.
Joined below by a 2nd Winter YLG, (left)
Below is a bird from the High Maynard today... another 2nd winter, less bright-billed and legs a little closer to pink but structurally good and its a striking bird in flight. The mantle tone is dark in comparison to other spp. around it. Pretty white and clean, long-winged also... I'm keen to go with structure and jizz as well as mantle tone and advanced adult median coverts. There are a few 2nd winter H Gulls about with a similarly advanced moult, but don't stand out like this bird did.