Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Med Gulls, Rosy Common Gulls and black marked 2nd winter birds

Four Med Gulls at Pensarn / Llanddulas this evening. Lots of Common Gulls including a bright Rosy chasted individual (the pics don't do it justice) - hormones or feeding habits? Also some interesting 2nd winter birds with black in the tail, tertials and coverts - only a few % of 'canus' 2nd winter birds show this but is much commoner in 'heinei' apparently. Mantle not storm grey enough to get really excited and claim one though ;-( .....keep looking!

This rosy chested Common Gull stood out in tonight's flock - hormones at work, feeding on something 'pink' or just a pigment onomoly? I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts.

One of the four Med Gulls picked out in the flock tonight - a partial summer plumaged bird. The others were a 2nd winter bird, a 1st summer type bird and a full adult.

An interesting 2nd winter bird showing characteristics of 'heinei'. Unfortunately the bird wasn't storm grey enough above to get excited, but it did show dark spots in the tertials, coverts and dark marks in the tail - all features found more readily on Russian race birds, all of which can be seen in the pictures.


  1. Hi Marc,

    It has been many years since I spent time looking at Common Gulls, but I think I recollect that Mew Gull L.c.brachyrhynchus can also show a tail band and tertial spots in its second winter, a lot more frequently than in the nominate canus. With the number of neararctic gulls about at the moment it is not beyond the realms of possibilities.

  2. You're right Steve,
    2nd winter Mew Gull does show these characteristics (I received an email from Dan Brown suggesting the same thing earlier) however, 2nd w Mew Gull can also show brown smudging on head and breast (per M.Garner) as well as a small dark tipped bill. I did see it's spread wing but failed to get a shot or register the pattern, as on Mew Gull it showss dark 'spotting' in the primaries. As you say though, certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.