Sunday, 13 November 2011

Odd Looking Gull.

Report. John Rance.

Had a quick scan of the pool this morning-no sign of the Little Gull- but came across a very odd looking Lesser-black backed ‘type’ gull. It appeared on the pool for a quick wash and a preen before heading towards the beach, so this is really an appeal for a photo if anyone with a decent camera comes across it!
A brief description:
Lesser black-backed-like  at first glance, but;
-  the yellow legs and bill were a sort of deep  golden yellow not the quite bright yellow of our  average LBB- although bear in mind the bright sunshine may have been a factor.
- the mantle is the ‘wrong’ shade of grey-paler and more of a mid/slaty grey than our ‘usual’ LBB’s- although again  the bright sunshine may have influenced this. The nearest thing I can compare it to is a ‘Common Gull shade of grey’.
- a heavily and distinctly streaked head.
Structurally quite large, bulkier in appearance, with broader wings than the average LBB’s which are normally quite slim and pointed.  In flight, prominent broad white trailing edges to the wings.
I’m pretty sure it’s one of the Lesser black-backed races but I’d dearly love a good photo to try and decide which-so over to the photographers!

Anyone out there who can help John on this one


  1. I'm off tomorrow John so i'll go down and see if I can get a photo

  2. Cheers Mark, having done a bit of 'swotting up' since I got home Yellow-legged Gull looks the most likely candidate- that would account for the pale mantle and bulky structure. It may well go down as 'one that got away!'.

  3. Can't remember the last time we've had yellow legged gull at par .. I'm sure Roger may no

  4. Roger did think 'Yell.Legged Gull', but John would have eliminated that surely? However, it seems the most likely. It may only come to Pool for 5 mins per day, in order to rinse in fresh water ! (c.4pm?)

  5. Yellow-legged gulls don't normally have a streaked head. Especially at this time of year their very clean heads makes them stand out from the crowd

  6. Actually, I thought a bit more about this last night and from the description it sounds more like an Azorean yellow-legged gull. These have very distinctive streaking on the head which makes it look almost like a hood. Something to consider anyway.


free counters Fatbirder's Top 500 Birding Websites