Initial views of the iceland gull off the Imperial Rugby ground.
I knew it wouldn't be long before I resorted to cheesy blog titles and I'm sure I'm not the first person to come up with this one. Apologies to anyone who gets annoyed by them like I do! I did an early morning search through the seafront gull flock and reckon numbers are reduced today, with probably closer to 1000 birds. We then walked the dog along the beach mid-morning and I had another squiz through them, bumping in to Phil Bentley who, like me, kind of assumed there would be something good in with them. There wasn't. Then, ironically, I found this iceland gull in the practically 'gull-less' estuary this afternoon at around 1430. It stayed put for a while and I was joined by Terry. We chucked a load of bread out but it refused to budge. We then took our eyes off it and it vanished. Thankfully the Warren boys picked it up heading out to sea and I was then able to relocate it off the lifeboat station late in the afternoon.
The pretty much all dark bill and subtly darker outer webs to the primaries is perhaps indicative of kumlien's gull but if it is, it's at the paler end of the spectrum. Unfortunately I didn't get any flight detail as time was of the essence. As always I'd be grateful for any opinions. Steve Waite has already contacted me regarding the darkness of the bill and the hefty structure of the bird. In the field the bill looked wholly dark but there is limited pink at the base, though this is still arguably too dark for 'glaucoides'.
Note the primary detail on this shot.
The light wasn't great this afternoon and the bird stubbornly refused to fly or even flap its wings.
Rock pipit - Leisure Centre.