Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Puzzling gull

A quick trip to Scaling Dam mid morning found the hide full of people with binoculars and telescopes. The Black-necked Grebe was showing nicely, if a little distantly but all the rest of yesterdays interesting birds had gone. So there was no Spotted Redshank, no Little Stint and woefully no Yellow-legged Gull.

However, gulls did appear as the morning went on and one likely suspect did stand out. Not the same gull as the previous day but a possible Yellow-legged Gull nonetheless.

White-headed gull to right of frame - opinions welcome

Tertials were dark brown with white/off white tips - inner tertials showed some white on lower edge of feathers, outer tertials showed cross bar pattern in last third, otherwise dark. This was a big gull, larger than surrounding juvenile Herring Gulls. Age was a problem. It could be a juvenile/first winter but more likely a 1st summer/2nd winter. Bill was all black with a pale tip, didn't appear quite as heavy as on some individuals. Seemed to show a distinct black tail band with sparsley marked upper tail, but this was not seen very clearly.

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