Faint hearts look away now.
A first winter gull around the Sheffield area at the moments looks interesting to me. Saw it last night in the roost at Orgreave lakes and today on rooftop by the salubrious site of the dog tack car park at Owlerton. Also in area 2 adult argentatus Herring Gulls with orange rings on left legs (origin?). One was ring no. 1768. Also ad and 2 first winter Yellow-legged Gulls and 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull, so far.
1st winter gull perhaps showing intermediate characters between Caspian and Herring Gull. Owlerton, Sheffield, 16 December 2011
3 Videos of same bird showing interesting characters:
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Underwing pattern and side view (use freeze frame)
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Tail Pattern while preening
Rough field notes:
At times looked somewhat cachinnans-like, others times I wondered if just odd Herring (especially when head pushes into neck and hunkered down). Quiet white front of face and centre of breast but otherwise pretty darn streaky looking. Has some moult in coverts on right side. Hard to see mantle feathers seemed almost plain grey with cachinnans- like spots. Similarly some scapular looked plain-ish greys approach classic cachinnans pattern. Horrible greater covert bar (for Caspian). Thumbnails on tertials. Horrible short legs (for Caspian). Underwing rather Herring Gull- like but tail better for mich/ cach. All details and more in photos/ video.
I asked gull guru Chris Gibbins, whose paper on tricky Caspian’s and hybrids has just been published in ‘British Birds’. His first reaction was (thankfully) he also thought the bird looked intermediate between Caspian and Herring. Whats do you think?