Friday, 22 March 2013

'Intermedius' Lesser Black backed Gull - Llansannan

While scanning a flock of large gulls just east of Llansannan yesterday, I came across this nice 'intermedius' Lesser black backed Gull. It ws with Herring Gulls and our usual 'graellsii' Lesser black backed Gulls.
The mantle colour was very apparent and the bird also seemed slightly smaller the our LBBGs. Not an easy bird to see in Conwy and in north west Wales.

There are three races of Lesser black backed Gull in Northern Europe:
  • Larus fuscus fuscus – Baltic Sea, eastern Scandinavia. No definite records for UK although some good candidates seen. Mantle jet black.
  • Larus fuscus intermedius – Denmark, Netherlands, Norway. Passage bird especially eastern UK. Mantle sooty black.
  • Larus fuscus graellsii – British Isles, Iceland, northern France. Our UK breeder. Mantle dark grey.

  • Right - 'intermedius' Lesser black backed Gull - note the sooty black mantle compared with the dark grey mantle of our own 'graellsii' bird on the left.

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