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Monday, December 31, 2001

2001 birds

List of species photographed during 2001:

Whooper Swan, Cygnus cygnus, March Farmers, 17.02.2001
Red-breasted Merganser, Mergus serrator, River Welland, 04.03.2001
Yellow-legged [Herring] Gull, Larus argentatus cachinnans, 27.09.2001
Glaucous Gull, Larus hyperboreus, Dogsthorpe Star Pit, 17.01.2001
Little Owl, Athene noctua, Deeping High Bank, 03.03.2001
Rock Pipit, Anthus petrosus, Welland Bank Pits, 01.03.2001
Great Reed Warbler, Acrocephalus arundinaceus, 19.05.2001

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Yellow-legged [Herring] Gull at Dogsthorpe Star Pit

© Brian Stone

This Gull looks to be a full adult. It gave superb views. Primary moult distinctly more advanced than other large gulls present with P10 well grown but still well short of P9 which is also still growing. P10 shows extensive black before white mirror and no tongue is visible. There is a black band between the mirror and white tip. P9 has no white mirror and P5 has strong black subterminal mark. Closed wing shows 3 well spaced white primary tips and the rear end looks attenuated even at this stage of moult (P9 and P10 will grow to produce a longer wing tip eventually). Dark secondaries and inner primaries are also visible here. Also has a good, sturdy, heavy-tipped bill.

What cannot be seen from these images is the bright orange/yellow legs and the mantle shade. Direct comparison was possible with a number of adult argenteus and graellsii and it was mid-way between the two, perhaps a shade darker than Common Gull (although none nearby).

Helpfully, this bird is at pretty much the same stage of moult as the first illustration on p39 of British Birds Vol 90, Nos 1&2 (Jan-Feb 1997).

Some have commented that the head streaking looks quite extensive. It is within the range for michahellis but could also match atlantis.