Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Rapidly Revisting a Recently Revisited Gull

Well that lasted long....

I want to highlight this comment that I made in my post yesterday, the post where I proclaimed how I thought I had dug out a few old photos depicting a sub-adult Caspian Gull on the Axe...

"When you decide you are going to take an interest in gulls, you go on a journey.  It's a never ending journey really".

It really is a never ending journey, because this morning I woke up to some surprising messages from some well respected 'gullers'; "Looks more like a Yellow-legged to me".

What really is interesting, is this isn't the only messages I've received.  In all eight people have commented about the gull pictured yesterday, through various means.  Four of these have said they think it looks better for a Yellow-legged, whereas four have agreed with my Caspian Gull ID.  So at four all does that mean I have the casting vote?

Well, no.

Needless to say I will no longer be submitting this as a Caspian Gull, too many people think it isn't one. What I think is now irrelevant. 

So to completely summarise this and my last blog post... 11 years ago I was right. I was right to leave this gull unidentified, and that's how it shall remain...


  1. Steve, kudos to you for putting your money where your mouth is and actually publishing a blog post about that bird. There are many, many birders out there (like me, for example) who wish they were better at gulls. Sticking your neck out is always a risk, and sometimes it means a hard lesson, but by doing so on your blog you give lots of readers the chance to learn something too.

    I would dearly like to see a nicely written critique based on those photos, explaining why the bird is a YLG.

    The lesson I'm taking from this episode right now is this: always get LOADS of photos!!

  2. Hi Steve, I agree with everything Gav said and all credit to you for posting this bird, also for being open-minded when others disagree.
    I admit I just don't know about this one - if you'd submitted it I'd have had to 'phone a friend!'
    Just one point: there's a broad black band on P4 (is that what you meant, not P5?), this points more towards YLG on a 3W I believe.
    Cheers, Tim

  3. Ditto everything said by Tim and Gav above. For those of us not so hot on gulls, it's brilliant to be able to read about your thought processes and all the things you are taking into account - rather than just the resulting decision. Thanks for sharing it with us all.