Friday, 28 July 2017

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls... Finally!

Well this year I have skillfully managed to see fledged juvenile Herring (for almost a month now!), Lesser Black-backed (three days ago) and Great Black-backed Gulls (this morning) before Yellow-legged Gull! In most recent years Yellow-legged would be second in that list, sometimes even first!

I have missed a few juv Yellow-legged Gulls here this summer (which is unusual as not many other folk look closely at gulls here) but thankfully tonight faith was restored - no doubt thanks to the wind and rain. At 18:30 there were two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls on the Estuary, but at 20:30 there were four!  All were distant and in poor light, but gladly I managed to get record shots of them all...

Look how solidly black those tertials look even at this angle!

Two together

Asleep in the middle - again the black tertials a dead give away this isn't a Herring Gull.

I had a fifth bird that didn't show me enough features well enough to allow me to make my mind up.  Gut says it's a Lesser Black-backed, but it did look fairly big and in brief flight views seemed to look better for Yellow-legged (narrow black tail band and a faint pale window in inner primaries). You thought the last three photos were bad...

It was a darker bird and overall appearance still says LBBG to me. The legs do look quite long and bright though, hmmmm...

The wader situation has been a bit samey since my last post. I have seen up to 16 Dunlin, a peak of four Greenshank (on 21st July), 16+ Black-tailed Godwits and a couple of Whimbrel.

What I haven't seen is any patch large Shearwaters!  That is despite two Cory's being seen off here a week ago today, along with record numbers of both Cory's and Greats off Dawlish Warren and Portland Bill on the same day. One day maybe, one day...

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