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Sunday, 11 March 2012

Yet more gulls

Since the last entry, visits to Allerton Park tip as it is referred to in the Yorkshire Bird Report, have continued daily.  On Friday 9th, a 1st-winter and 2nd-winter Iceland Gull, two pale-winged argentatus (one of which was new with slightly darker tertials and primaries and paler head), and the 2nd-winter Glaucous Gull with the missing primary.
A late visit on Saturday 10th produced very few gulls, and only a 2nd-winter Iceland and one pale winged argentatus were seen.  However, earlier in the day, Paul Irving had seen the Kumlein's Gull there, along with several Iceland Gulls and the 2nd-year Glaucous with the missing primary, and up to seven Red Kites.

A morning visit this morning, again not more than 200 gulls in total.  However, gulls floated in and other left, so at times there were no white-winged gulls, and at one time there were two 2nd-year Iceland Gulls, and two 2nd-year Glaucous Gulls present.  One of the Glaucous Gulls was a new bird, with a complete set of wing feathers, and a greyish cast to the pink bill.

There have been small numbers of obvious adult argentatus among the argenteus,  and here is a photo of an adult of each next to each other, showing the characteristics well.  When similarly aged gulls are not so close together for comparison it is much more difficult to discern.

Argentatus (left), argenteus (right).

As a round-up for the total number of odd gulls at Allerton Park Tip, I would say as a minimum there have been three Glaucous Gulls, ten Iceland Gulls, a Kumlein's Gull, three pale-winged argentatus, a Caspian Gull and  three Kittiwakes.  Not bad, eh?

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