Sunday, 9 August 2015

A very dark tailed argenteus Herring Gull

In  mid-winter when I see such dark tailed birds I wonder where they must be from, and generally I assume they originate somewhere North and West from us.  But here is a local-reared bird (still begging food from its parents) with a very dark tail and well marked rump and upper tail coverts.  So, such a pattern occurs in argenteus! Images are from yesterday at Peterhead

 



Friday, 7 August 2015

Lanzarote Pelagic

This time last year Hywel Maggs, Phil Crockett and myself went on one of the Lanzarote pelagics.  It was an utterly fantastic trip; the whole experience was simply unforgettable.  Here are some of the better birds....  I'm sure you will recognise them....

























Monday, 9 February 2015

All action at Peterhead

At last a few white winged gulls have arrived here in NE Scotland.  Gull activity in Peterhead was aided by lots of trawler action, including spillages of fish and other stuff on the quayside.  Saturday especially (when most of these images were taken) was great fun, with huge gull melees. Here are some images of the action...

Great BB Gull
First cycle Iceland

This and all birds below are Glaucous, a mix of first and second cycle birds





Friday, 9 May 2014

Cape Gulls: A sample from the Cape

This is a selection of Cape Gulls, all taken around Cape Town, South Africa in June 2012.  I've put them here simply as a reference collection.  They are mainly adult birds, but with a few older immature individuals thrown in.  The specific reason I've put them up is because of discussion over one or two recent birds that have appeared in Europe; I hope this series of images helps illustrate some of the variability in wing tip pattern (individual differences between adult birds) and apparent differences in upperpart tone as a function of light conditions.  In the latter context, note that ALL photose were taken with the camera dropped down on-quarter stop and I have intentionally NOT altered the colour tones or levels in the photos.
























































Note the apparent differences in grey tone of these standing adult birds - the bird above looks fuscus black whereas some of those below (e.g. the final adult bird) look graellsii grey. These differences are more apparent in images than I remember in the field, so I think to some degree are light and photo effects.