Friday, 14 November 2008

Time to look at Gulls!

Right autumn's over, but the fun doesn't stop there. Time to starting looking at gulls (er...and geese). Here's a bunch of images from my favourite gulling site - Ellington in Northumberland.

This brute argentatus had clearly just finished beating up a British Herring Gull, with the scars to show it. Or had it been rummaging around in red paint on the tip?

Another argentatus, and just prove one comes from the north, check out the still growing P9 and P10. Many argenteus had completed their primary moult well before now. The short summers in high north do not leave birds with much time to breed, moult and migrate. This bird perhaps started it's moult late, or perhaps it started it early then suspended just before during it's migration south.

A Caspian Gull lookalike, while also managing to be reminiscent of a 2nd-w Ring-Billed Gull. Suggesting Caspian are the extensive black subterminal band on P5, dark eye, grey starting to 'eat into' black primaries - perhaps more so on right wing, extensive grey adult-type wing coverts and mainly white head. Suggesting Herring is the thick, short-looking bill, large eye, faint streaks on head and short-looking tibia. Polish intergrade?

Shot showing slight variations in apperance of Canada Geese. The front bird in particular (of which there was a second similar-looking bird present) showsa narrower white band on face, slightly darker upper breast, a slightly smaller size and a stubbier bill.

Idealyc: a throng of large gulls scrumming it out for space on the water at Linton Lane NR. Gulls using the tip at Ellington bathe at this Northumberland Wildlife Trust reserve.

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