Literally the first gull I clapped eyes on this morning was this lovely first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, at the bottom end of the Estuary...
|It was a hefty bird all round and heavy billed.|
|Look at all the second generation feathers, way more advanced than any Herring Gull of similar age.|
|Note how pale the bird looks, almost streak-free head with pale ground colour to neck, breast and belly.|
|My best ever open wing shot of a young YLG - thanks to that Little Egret! Note the restricted pale inner primary window.|
|Here on the left with 1w and 2w Herring Gulls. Note how overall it is a chunkier and longer winged bird.|
I came back about an hour later, and was surprised to see it had been joined by a second bird...
|The second bird (on the right) did have worryingly pale greater coverts, but all other features looked fine for 1w YLG|
|Both birds with a young Herring Gull (upper left) - shows the size difference well.|
|My favourite shot of the two YLG together.|
Later in the day (mid pm) I had two first-winter Yellow-legged Gulls north of Coronation Corner. One of these could well have been bird one from the morning, but the second bird was definitely a different bird - so that's three today! An hour later I then had bird one again and it was back down by the tram sheds at the lower end of the Estuary.
Other than these, and all round good numbers of large gulls, I've not seen much else today, although there's still at least 14 Bar-tailed Godwits on the Estuary which is not the norm at all...