Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Glauc again

27th February - Jim R found the juvenile Glaucous Gull again this afternoon.  Frustratingly, it was present mid afternoon in good light, but I was unable to get there.  I did eventually get out after 5pm and the Glauc was still there, though a little distant and now in fading light so my photo opportunity was more or less gone.  I did get a couple of phone scoped shots which are marginally better than my last efforts, but not much!

I did a bit of digging around on this bird, as it seemed likely that this was the same bird that has been visiting local sites in Bucks, Berks and Oxon over the past month.  I was also curious to see whether it might be the same bird that was first seen at Hedgerley Landfill in Bucks for a week in mid December 2015 - there was a 5 week gap between then and turning up at the Oxon roost at Sonning Eye.  Well, from what I can see from the limited photos, it does appear to be the same bird at all sites.  The main features that stand out to me are:

  • The very dusky head, breast and undersides, with a contrasting pale nape and slightly paler upper breast/throat.
  • Very similar looking covert markings, particularly on the median coverts.
  • Similar size - just larger than a Herring Gull.
  • The bill, which is not particularly big and has an identical looking black tip mark.
The photos I compared are here:

Hedgerley Landfill, December 2015: Birdguides
Knowl Hill tip, Berks, January 2016: Berksbirds
Little Marlow GP, February 2016: Bucksbirds
Not a particularly good record shot at Sonning Eye, Oxon in January 2016, though it does show the dusk head markings: Oxonbirds

The roost also had a third winter Yellow-legged Gull and a full summer Med Gull.  The Med Gull came in late onto the water and then flew into the throng of Common Gulls and disappeared before I could get a shot of it - lovely looking bird though.

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