Sunday, 5 June 2016

Summer Gulls

Im not sure why, but my attention has returned to the tip.  Ive recently found a new place to view from and getting closer is great, especially at the time of year when certain features and keys regarding moult etc kind of go out the window. I find generally that with immature large gulls,the wing coverts can be one of the most useful 'tools' and this time of year may birds have worn, bleached and odd looking wing coverts, so a little out of my comfort zone.  However, I'm testing myself, relying on jizz alot and careful looking. Below is a likely 1st summer Caspian from the 1st of June... I say likely as i feel a little cautious this time of year, I couldnt see much detail on the wing coverts and brief views, but most structural features present and scaps look good as well as retained shawl...(middle top bird facing left)

The bird to the right and in front of it is interesting also, but bill seems too heavy and has a strange expression to me, so i'll leave it.

A 1st summer Yellow Legged Gull from the same day. quite a caspy about the head and bill at times, but structure suggests YLG

Below another 1st summer YLG from the 4th of June, replaced tertials and coverts are worn, suggesting they wee replaced a while ago, head shape, 'sucked in' cheek, large blunt tipped bill and expression are good.

And finally below, a second summer Yellow leg, this bird is slightly less advanced than other birds of this age seen on the patch this year, another bird of the same age has replaced most of its median coverts with adult grey. this bird still has pink legs, but not really a concern, the conrasty and well marked remaining wing coverts, mantle tone, head shape and advanced bill and red orbital eye ring are pro YLG features.

I have found these recent trips very interesting, and thanks to friends who are into gulls and who give their feedback. I think its good to share these sometimes tricky birds with a fresh eyed gull nerd.