on Bridlington Pelagic, 9th August 2013
Experimenting with our mini pelagics, we took another trip out last Friday. The idea comes from the Yorkshire Coast Nature team and we will be trying further up the North Yorkshire coast too. The appeal of such trips is you just never know what might be seen. This time it was 2 juvenile Yellow -legged Gulls which headlined. These are scarce/rare this far north, with the Humber estuary normally the nearest, regular location for the species.
The environment is different, providing multiple opportunities to learn the in-flight appearance- often at ridiculously close range:
Here’s the first bird (below), picked up pre-dawn. It took me a minute or two to clock for certain tat is was YLGull. See at distance the 2 most arresting features, bright white tail and rather dark trialing edge to wing but with weak pale window. These 2 characters are what grab you at first:
Then it landed closer on water and variety of characters are visible- head pattern, tertials, under-tail all add confidence to the ID. This first bird appeared to have a full set of juvenile scapulars.
Then at some 9 miles out after fly-by Manx Shearwaters and an over the boat Bonxie, this fella (no.2) stuck with us on and off for about an hour: