Friday, 15 March 2019

Hybrid Gull (no please do still read this post!)

Now I'm not ashamed to say I've described many gulls using words like 'stunning' or 'cracking',  but I confess to hitting a new low late this morning...

I was actually mildly impressed by how smart a hybrid Herring x Lesser Black-backed Gull looked. My word I can't believe I'm even writing this!

Mantle colour actually not that far off a Yellow-legged Gull, but look at the wide white tertial crescent. The consistent feature with these hybrids (which you can just about make out in the above pic) is the pale washed out yellowy-pink legs.

Similar view but a little more zoom. A short-legged and compact bird but a bit longer-winged than surrounding Herring Gulls.

See doesn't it look smart!  The fine bill, clean white head and small eye, combined with mantle colour giving it an almost Caspian feel.  Nice!

Oh look - a fluky open wing shot!  What a mess though; sizeable window on P10, a little dot of white on P9 on right wing at least... I do like those narrow white bands that separate the grey and black on P5-P7 though.

What is nice is that this shot clearly rules out a small argentatus Scandinavian Herring Gull which would show far more white and far less black in the wing-tips.

So to summarise this post... No there were no decent gulls on the Axe Estuary today despite several scans.

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