I've had a great day today, looking at mirrors, tongues, scapulars, tertials and lots of primary counting! Thousands of gulls along the coast between Rhyl and Abergele. Tried hard to get to know our local 'argenteus' properly in all plumages. At least three cracking 'argentatus' birds seen amongst them, 2 adult and a juvenile bird ( one adult at Abergele recylcling centre and two on Pensarn beach). Although scarce, perhaps they are more regular than we think here in North Wales. Yesterday in Teeside, it was very striking how many, if not most, of their Herrings were northern type birds, very different looking from our coastal 'seagulls'. A 1st winter Lesser black backed Gull was also at Abergele dump.
The most 'intersting' bird seen today was a possible 'heinei' Common Gull, with a dark mantled 2nd winter bird that was showing brown in the tertails and had a broken black tail band. In flight it was quite striking. It was in fields near the recycling centre - certainly a candidate. I need to learn more about this race.
Other birds today included the superb Black throated Diver on Rhyl Marine lake, fishing alongside the crab catching Great Northern Diver. Unfortunately it was reported to have flown off a few minutes after I left at around 10am. Water Rail was showing well at Pentre Mawr Park, Abergele with one drake each of Shoveler, Gadwall and Pochard on on the lake here and a lone female Goldeneye on the business park lake.
Great picture of the BTD by Pete Wood.