Can you or can’t you?
I keep lookin’, but haven’t found any in Britain yet. Baltic Gull that is. Larus fuscus fuscus. Birds in their 2nd calendar year, (first summers) are often identifiable in May to August (thanks to lots of intensive study especially by Dutch gull gurus).
So I was looking through Baltic Gulls photographed in Israel last November alongside the grand company of Amir Ben Dove, Yoav Perlman and Tris Reid.
I was wondering if some 2cy Baltic Gulls (and dare I say even a few adults) might still be identifiable well beyond August. It’s just that this bird (below) in mid November, still looks to me distinctive enough from similar aged intermedius/graellsii. Not based on intensive study – just a question.
2cy Baltic Gull, Ma’agan Michael, Israel, mid November 2012. Similar plumage to the textbook identifiable Baltic Gulls in May- August only now wing moult is more evident with some black new inner secondaries and new inner half of primaries.
…………………….Video of the same 2cy Baltic Gull
The Power of Digiscoping
Just going through photos I noticed these comparable images of what can be done with DSLR camera and digiscoping- same bird, same distance. the target bird is a moulting adult Baltic Gull in the middle of a dried up fish lagoon. You just can’t get any closer. Too far for reasonable DSLR image (Canon 7D with 400mm 5.6 lens) but fine for digiscoping (Swarovski ATX95 with Canon S95 camera). This digiscoping kit also really scores with video (see 2cy Baltic Gull video above). When the adult Baltic Gull flies the DSLR comes in as better option again I think:
(above 2) now the adult Baltic Gull takes flight and I grab the DSLR again. Cropped images as bird flies reasonably close, showing stage of moult that still seems too extreme to me for a ‘black’ intermedius in mid November Hopefully someone will put me right. 🙂