Green Ringed AHYY adult summer Mediterranean Gull. Looks like it might have travelled from Germany!
Dark mantled Common Gull (at the back) - stood out a mile amongst the regular Commons. Also had reduced white mirrors, but don't know if this is a feature of 'heinei' Common Gull.
Another dark mantled Common Gull (at the back of the group), also some nice streaking on the head. Click on the image for a larger image.Also a possible Russian bird? Hope there are some to quiz Mr Garner with next week.
An extremely dark 1st winter Common Gull - retarded moult? Not sure whether this means it might have come from further north? All other 1st year birds were well on the way the having white bellies and grey mantles. Any suggestions?
With Martin Garner coming to North Wales next week (www.birdingfrontiers.com), I went about searching for flocks to grill when the 'guru' himself arrives. I came across a flock of 3000+ Common Gulls on the beach between Llanddulas and Pensarn and spent an interesting 2-3 hours searching through them.
Six Mediterranean Gulls were on show, 3 near summer plumaged adults, a winter plumaged adult, one 2nd winter and a 1st winter bird. Two of the adults had green darvic rings, one of which I could read. I have sent the ring number off AHYY, but early indications show that it was ringed by the Hamburg team in Germany.
Another bird ringed was a superb leucistic Common Gull, presumably a different bird from the Llanfairfechan bird that has spent at least the past 10 summers there (as that one wasn't ringed whan I last saw it in Sept 2011).
At least 2 probable Russian 'heinei' Common Gulls were with the flock. Their almost 'Lesser Black Backed' tones to the mantle making them stand out. The two adult birds are shown above. Any comments appreciated. The dark and very marked 1st winter Common Gull in the picture above also stood out as it was way behind with it's moult compared with the many hundreds of other 1st winter birds. Could this mean it has come from a long way away? Looking forward to ask these questions to Martin next week.
For anyone still interested, I have frustraitingly had a cancellation tonight so there is a place available. The cost is £35 for a 9am - dusk gulling experience with top identification expert, BBRC member, finder of Britain's first Caspian Gull...Martin Garner. Get in touch through email@example.com if you would like to fill that place.